Good news for Marmion, but Connacht's Ronaldson dealt cruel injury setback

Out-half Ronaldson is facing an extended period on the sideline as he undergoes knee surgery.

CONNACHT’S KIERAN MARMION has shaken off the effects of injury and will be fit for Ireland November internationals, but a serious knee ligament injury for Craig Ronaldson is a huge setback for Andy Friend’s side.

The 22-times capped Marmion has missed Connacht’s last two games with an ankle injury but has returned to training this week ahead of their trip to Bridgend to face Ospreys this Friday [KO 8.05pm, TG4.] 

Kieran Marmion Marmion is set to be available this weekend. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

And Marmion will be relieved to be in a position to challenge for just his sixth Ireland start as his fellow scrum-halves are also struggling.

Conor Murray has yet to play this season, Luke McGrath is still chasing his best form after injury, while Ulster’s John Cooney sat out last weekend’s Champions Cup loss to Racing 92, which should put the Connacht nine in prime position to start the first November Test against Italy. 

“Kieran is back and he trained fully today after the injury he sustained in Ulster. It’s good to have him back,” said Connacht backs coach Nigel Carolan.

“In fairness Caolin Blade has been awesome for us, but the fact that Kieran is back it’s great competition for the two of them.”

Carolan confirmed that all of the fit players in the Connacht squad are available for Friday’s Pro14 clash with the Ospreys — including the members of the Ireland squad, which is due to be released later today — but there are a few injury concerns to deal with.

Ronaldson limped off during Connacht’s home defeat to Leinster before the European break, and he will undergo surgery this week his injured knee.

According to Carolan, Ronaldson will miss a big chunk of Connacht’s season after he sustained damage to several ligaments in his knee, including his ACL.

“He’s has done his ACL, PCL and MCL. He’s done the whole lot and it will rule him out until at least Easter. It’s not career threatening but it is quite serious in terms of knee injuries”

Craig Ronaldson treated by physio Orla Armstrong and Dr John O'Donnell Ronaldson suffered the injury against Leinster. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Conor McKeon had surgery earlier this week on the shoulder injury he suffered in the same game and he is expected to be out until the early months of 2019, while Gavin Thornbury (shoulder), Eoin McKeon (shoulder) and Eoghan Masterson (thumb) are all expected to return in the coming weeks.

Matt Healy is also a doubt for the trip to Wales as he tries to shake off his foot injury, although Sean O’Brien (chest), Peter Robb (neck) and Peter McCabe (concussion) are back in contention.

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“We are going over there with a very fresh squad, we have rested a lot of guys over the last few weeks. We have built some depth in the squad,” Carolan added.

“We want as many players involved with Ireland as we can. It will indicate the progress that’s being made in the province.

“We just have to deal with it so that’s why building depth is important. We’ll have to deal with whoever is not available to us and someone will step in.

“This week everyone that is not injured is available to us.”

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Declan Rooney

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