James Crombie/INPHO
western wounds
Connacht lose Quinn Roux for three months, Darragh Leader for two and the list goes on and on...
The physical toll is mounting for the deposed league leaders as nine new names line up for the treatment room.

ADDING TO THE insult of losing top spot in the Pro12 after their eight-game winning run was ended, defeat in Cardiff has brought about three serious injuries for league leaders Connacht.

Pat Lam will be without second row Quinn Roux for around three months after rupturing tissue in his ankle joint. The lock will consult with a surgeon to review the ankle syndesmosis (more commonly a “high ankle sprain”) this week, but the province consider three months to be the likely timeframe for recovery.

Academy product Darragh Leader is also waiting a surgical consultation after fracturing a bone in his hand and is expected to be out of action for two months.

Back row Eoin McKeon is the third serious worry for Lam and his medical crew, but the prognosis for the torn medial ligament in his elbow is a little better: he should be back in time for the final pool matches in Connacht’s Challenge Cup campaign in January.

As if all that (on top of last week’s news about Robbie Henshaw and Nepia Fox-Matamua) wasn’t enough, there are big question marks over six more Westerners ahead of Friday’s Challenge Cup clash with Newcastle in Galway.

Craig Ronaldson and Kieran Marmion are following return to play protocols after concussion. Bundee Aki, John Muldoon and Ronan Loughney sat out training today with respective ankle, calf and back knocks, plus Ian Porter suffered a mild ankle ligament sprain. However, Connacht say the scrum-half “has settled well” and hope to have all six men patched up and available by the end of the week.

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