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Injury curse strikes again as fresh ankle problem set to end Dave Kearney's season

The Ireland international will undergo further tests this week.

Kearney sustained the injury in the second half of Leinster's win over Connacht.
Kearney sustained the injury in the second half of Leinster's win over Connacht.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DAVE KEARNEY HAS been ruled out of Leinster’s Champions Cup semi-final with Clermont this Sunday, and is set to miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury.

Just two games into his latest comeback, the Leinster winger rolled his ankle during the eastern province’s victory over Connacht on Saturday and is now facing another period on the sidelines.

Kearney was given oxygen and then helped off the Sportsground pitch in the 47th minute of the interpro clash and Leinster are now awaiting further tests to determine the full extent of the damage.

While Stuart Lancaster said he was hopeful of seeing the Ireland international back before the end of the campaign, Kearney would face a race against time to return with just two regular season Pro12 fixtures remaining.

It’s another cruel setback for the 27-year-old, who has already missed 23 weeks of an injury-ravaged season after lengthy layoffs with ankle and toe complaints.

“I was gutted for him really because what people don’t see is the work he has put in to get fit again,” Lancaster said this afternoon.

“The injury, the recovery, the rehab and the time on his own with the physios and strength and conditioning coaches. I personally was gutted for him because I haven’t really worked for him over the last 12 months. It’s going to keep him out for a few weeks now and it’s a real shame for him.”

“He’s devastated really, he had put so much hard work in and he was fighting to get in that European squad and now he’s back on the physio bed. He’ll be back though, he’s still a young player and there’s a long way to go in his career.”

Kearney was the only player to emerge from Saturday’s 37-24 victory with any issues as Adam Byrne and Dominic Ryan came through unscathed ahead of this week’s trip to Lyon.

However, Jack Conan is still a doubt for the clash with Clermont as his fitness continues to be monitored after he picked up a neck injury during the win over Ospreys a fortnight ago.

Mike McCarthy Mike McCarthy has played his final game for Leinster. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

As was expected, both Rob Kearney (bicep and knee) and Jamie Heaslip (back) are unavailable again this week with the pair now looking increasingly unlikely to be back before the end of the season.

“They’re both pushing hard to get fit before the end of the season, nothing much more to report than we’ll wait and see,” Lancaster added.

Mike McCarthy, meanwhile, has played his final game for the province after being ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with a back problem.

The second row, who is joining Narbonne, underwent surgery for a disc injury and is also seeking further treatment on an issue with his elbow.

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