CIAN HEALY IS set for further tests on a neck issue after missing out on being named in Leinster’s matchday squad to face Treviso in the Guinness Pro12 tomorrow.
The loosehead prop started the province’s defeat to Ulster two weekends ago, despite having picked up a shoulder complaint during the Champions Cup semi-final loss to Toulon a week before that.
Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor says Healy’s neck problem has nothing to do with the knock he took in a collision with Bakkies Botha in that European fixture in Marseille, but is instead due to an accumulation of game time.
“With the tight turnaround from Toulon to Ulster, Cian picked up a bit of a stiff neck so he’s not playing this week,” said O’Connor this afternoon at LauraLynn Children’s Hospice, one of Leinster’s charity partners.
We’re doing a few investigations in relation to that. Potentially [he could be back for next weekend's clash with Edinburgh], it’s unknown at this stage. He’s in the hands of the medics at this stage, so we’ll have to wait and see.
“No, [it was] nothing to do with that [Botha incident],” continued O’Connor. “It was just off the back of the two very tight games and the Six Nations schedule and everything that he’s gone through over the last couple of months. So hopefully it’s not too serious.”
Naturally O’Connor will be desperate to see Healy fit in time to face Edinburgh on the last day of the regular Pro12 season schedule, as Leinster look to ensure they remain in the top six of the league and secure automatic Champions Cup qualification.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt will be an interested follower of the medical update too, hopeful that Healy’s ‘stiff neck’ doesn’t transpire to be anything more serious.
The Ireland prop missed a large portion of this season after tearing his hamstring off the bone and subsequently undergoing surgery in September, but Healy made his comeback during the Six Nations, playing off the bench three times before starting against Scotland.
Meanwhile, O’Connor confirmed that Luke Fitzgerald’s shoulder surgery last week was a measure to correct a long-standing issue. The looming World Cup meant that an operation at this early stage was the preferable treatment.
“It’s an old injury that he’s been managing through,” said O’Connor of Fitzgerald. “The medical decision was to get it repaired as quick as possible for what’s around the corner obviously.”