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Positive progress puts Carbery in line to recover for World Cup opener

Joe Schmidt said the out-half will, at worst, be fit for the Scotland clash.

IRELAND BOSS JOE Schmidt says Joey Carbery is in line to be fit for his team’s World Cup pool opener against Scotland on 22 September in Yokohama, if not before then.

The Munster out-half suffered an ankle injury in Ireland’s warm-up game against Italy on 10 August and has since undergone a minor procedure to remedy the issue.

While announcing a four- to six-week recovery timeframe for the playmaker, Ireland initially had real fears about Carbery’s possible involvement in the World Cup in Japan.

joey-carbery Carbery is recovering from an ankle procedure. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

However, that concern is beginning to subside as Carbery makes positive progress with his recovery, having returned to the pitch in the past week and started rebuilding strength in the ankle.

Schmidt indicated yesterday that Carbery could even be fit for the final warm-up clash against Wales in Dublin on 7 September but said that in the worst-case scenario, the exciting out-half is in line to be ready to face Scotland.

“Yeah, he’s progressing well,” said Schmidt yesterday. “He was doing a bit on the pitch today and I think in terms of following his rehab, that four- to six-week window is bang on.

“We just don’t know where he’s going to fall in that four-to-six window. If everything goes perfectly, he may get into that Welsh game back here in the Aviva.

“If it hasn’t gone perfectly then, at worst, I think he will be fully available for the Scotland game.

“If he gets put back a day or two, or even a week, I think it’s still going to be a really good chance that he gets a full week’s training [before the Scotland game]. It’s a Sunday game first up, so training on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday.

“We can’t actually do a captain’s run on the Saturday because the All Blacks are playing South Africa in a friendly, and then we’re on the next day in another friendly with our Celtic cousins!”

cian-healy-receives-treatment-for-an-injury Cian Healy is expected to make a swift recovery. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Having Carbery available to back-up Johnny Sexton for that Scotland game would be a boost for Ireland, who also delivered extremely encouraging news on loosehead prop Cian Healy yesterday.

The Leinster man suffered an ankle injury last weekend against England but he is recovering rapidly and should be involved against Wales in Dublin in that final warm-up game.


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Johnny Sexton is set to start that second clash with the Welsh, while Keith Earls should also recover to play in Dublin, having had a niggling tendonitis issue above his knee in recent times.

Robbie Henshaw, who was dealing with “soreness” last week at Ireland’s training camp in Portugal is another who should be fit to feature against Warren Gatland’s side in two weekends’ time.

“There are a few guys who may not be selected because we’re not overly concerned that they need game time,” said Schmidt yesterday when asked if Ireland had any other players unavailable this weekend.

“A guy like Keith, you could potentially put in, but then if you flare up the tendonitis, you’re back where you were before, so why take that risk?

“There are a couple of other guys who might be like that but we’ll see how guys are on Thursday and how they train, how they even present before training, so we know what they’re doing.”

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Murray Kinsella

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