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Dublin: 13°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Leinster captain Nacewa faces another period on the sidelines after ankle operation

The 35-year-old is expected to be out for six weeks.

Nacewa went under the knife during the week.
Nacewa went under the knife during the week.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

ISA NACEWA HAS been forced to go under the knife to rectify an ankle injury he sustained in Leinster’s victory over Montpellier last week, and is facing several weeks on the sideline.

The Leinster captain was forced off during the first half of the province’s opening Champions Cup game at the RDS and the extent of the problem was worse than first feared.

Leo Cullen yesterday confirmed the 35-year-old had a procedure to repair his syndesmosis — an operation similar to the one Dan Leavy had — and will be out of action for at least six weeks, meaning he’ll be in a race to be fit for Leinster’s back-to-back pool games against Exeter at the start of December.

“Isa took a bang to his ankle in the game against Montpellier. We’ll see how long exactly he’ll be out for but we’re talking about six weeks for that, we think,” Cullen explained, ahead of today’s clash with Glasgow Warriors.

Nacewa’s season has already been disrupted by injuries after he hobbled out of the defeat to the Cheetahs in South Africa with a calf strain, and only made his comeback in the bonus point win over Montpellier last weekend.

While he will be unavailable for the next few weeks, Cullen hopes to have Sean O’Brien back sooner rather than later after the flanker once again failed to prove his fitness in time for today’s Pool 3 clash at Scotstoun.

Sean O'Brien with Phil Burleigh and Jamie Ritchie O'Brien is on the comeback trail. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

O’Brien hasn’t featured since suffering a calf problem in his seasonal bow against Edinburgh but the Lions back rower has travelled to Scotland with the rest of the squad as he nears his return.

“With Sean, he was touch and go this week and came in at the back end of the week,” Cullen added.

“He would have been a little bit compromised at the start of the week so he’s travelling with the group anyway and it’s great to have him back involved. We’ll see how the next couple of days go but he’s getting close to being back.”

After today’s meeting with Glasgow, Leinster return to Pro14 duty before the break for the November internationals with away trips to Ulster and Treviso either side of a home fixture against the Dragons.

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