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Leinster's injury list grows with McFadden ruled out for six weeks

More positively, Luke Fitzgerald is ‘progressing really well,’ according to head coach Matt O’Connor.

McFadden was carried off on Saturday night.
McFadden was carried off on Saturday night.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

LEINSTER HEAD COACH Matt O’Connor has confirmed that wing Fergus McFadden will be sidelined for up to six weeks with the ankle injury he picked up in Saturday’s defeat to Munster.

The 28-year-old is now a doubt for Ireland’s November Tests as a result, while the blow adds to Leinster’s recent injury issues, which have most notably seen Sean O’Brien and Cian Healy ruled out long-term.

That said, O’Connor was actually relieved by the extent of McFadden’s injury, given that it had looked far more serious when he was stretchered off at the Aviva.

“Ferg obviously was a pretty high-profile departure, he’s reported significantly better than we had hoped post-game,” said O’Connor.

“It looks like a pretty significant ankle strain which will tie him down for about six weeks, but no surgery or other intervention which is really positive.”

He didn’t look in a great place, and you always fear the worst when guys are stretchered off the field with a lower leg injury. He’s recovered quite well and the scan results were positive, so it’s crack on now with the rehab and try and get him back out on the park as quickly as possible.”

Mike Ross is a concern ahead of this weekend’s Guinness Pro12 clash away to Zebre, after coming off in the second half of the clash with Munster.

“Rossy had a bit of a tweak to his groin, but we’ll have to make a call on that later in the week to see how he is,” outlined O’Connor.

Joe Schmidt with Dave Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald Fitzgerald with teammate Dave Kearney and Ireland coach Joe Schmidt at the Aviva on Saturday. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“He certainly isn’t ruled out for this week and it shouldn’t be more than a seven-dayer at the worst.”

Meanwhile, Luke Fitzgerald remains on the comeback trail from the groin/hip issues that have meant he hasn’t played for Leinster since March. The player himself told Off the Ball that he was looking at a two to three-week period before returning to training, but O’Connor was more vague.

How long until we see Fitzgerald back on the pitch?

“How long is a piece of string?” replied O’Connor tongue-in-cheek. “Jokes aside, Luke’s progressing really well, he’s putting in some positive strides, he’s not very far away.

What we’ve outlined with him and the medical staff is that once he’s running flat out and changing direction we’ll bring him back into the rugby programme and see how he progresses.

“When that happens there’s probably a two-week window where he needs to do the rugby training, he’s missed a hell of a lot of the rugby programme since Christmas.

“So we need to give him the best chance to get his groin right, then get reacquainted with a rugby ball and his team-mates.”

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VIDEO: Hey, Munster fans, relive the excitement of Saturday with this sexy highlights package

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Murray Kinsella

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