Bealham heads to hospital but Connacht hopeful on Carty bicep injury

The tighthead prop suffered a serious hand injury in the defeat to Sale Sharks.

Murray Kinsella reports from AJ Bell Stadium

CONNACHT TIGHTHEAD PROP Finlay Bealham has been brought to hospital with a serious hand injury that could end his season.

The Ireland international suffered the injury in the closing minutes of Connacht’s 20-10 defeat to Sale in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals and could now miss his team’s crucial Pro14 run-in as they chase Champions Cup qualification for next season.

Finlay Bealham injured Bealham's hand injury was covered as he left the pitch. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Bealham – who was himself an injury replacement for Dominic Robertson-McCoy – left the pitch at AJ Bell Stadium in visible distress, appearing to vomit in pain as he was assisted to the sideline with his right hand covered by a towel. 

“Finlay didn’t look good at all going off there, so he’s heading off to hospital now to get that hand looked at,” said Connacht boss Andy Friend post-match.

“But if he’s out, which it looks like he will be certainly for the foreseeable future, that’s a massive loss for us. He’s been fantastic this year.”

Connacht also suffered the blow of losing out-half Jack Carty to a bicep injury in their loss to Sale, although the outlook on the 26-year-old Ireland international playmaker is more optimistic.  

With Connacht’s other out-half options – David Horwitz, Craig Ronaldson and Conor Fitzgerald – currently out injured, Carty’s fitness is crucial for the final three rounds of the Pro14 regular season as Friend’s side pursue Champions Cup qualification and a play-off spot.

“Jack copped that knock on his bicep just before half-time,” said Friend. “We gave him a chance to see if he could run that out in the second half but he’s too important for us there so we took him off.

Jack Carty dejected Carty was replaced early in the second half. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“We’ll know a bit more, as you do, 24 to 48 hours after the match but fingers crossed he’s going to be ok.”

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Connacht face a trip to Zebre next weekend in the Pro14, with Kyle Godwin in line to start at out-half if Carty is ruled out.

The Australian has performed creditably in the number 10 shirt recently and moved to out-half again tonight after Carty’s injury, although it is certainly not his strongest position.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t got anything else,” said Friend. “Young Conor Fitzgerald is probably looking at having some surgery on his back, David Horwitz has just had surgery and Craig Ronaldson did his ACL at the start of the year, so we’re in desperate need there.

“We need to keep our fingers crossed that Jack is going to be ok, but if Jack’s not ok, then at this point in time, we’re likely to play Kyle.”

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Murray Kinsella

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