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Dublin: 1°C Sunday 7 March 2021

Leinster's Lowe and Penny in a race to be fit for start of Pro14 season

The pair both had shoulder surgery during the summer.

LEINSTER HOPE TO have both James Lowe and Scott Penny available for the start of the new Guinness Pro14 season despite the pair undergoing shoulder reconstruction operations this summer. 

Lowe went under the knife following the Pro14 final win over Glasgow Warriors at the end of May and Penny missed Ireland’s U20 World Championship campaign to have double shoulder surgery.  

James Lowe Lowe is recovering from shoulder surgery. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Leinster say both players are now in the rehabilitation stage and are ‘progressing well’ ahead of the province’s opening game of the Pro14 season away at Benetton on 28 September. 

The delayed start to the 2019/20 campaign due to the World Cup has allowed Lowe and Penny extra time to recover, while Barry Daly [collarbone] and Adam Byrne [quad] have returned to full team training during pre-season. 

“Both James and Scott had something that needed to be repaired when they got the window and the window was pretty good so they both decided to bite the bullet and get themselves sorted,” Cullen said. 

“Sometimes that happens when players are carrying niggles and knocks and that’s the complications of the game. Both are well on their way to getting back out there.” 

Jamison Gibson-Park, who missed the final stages of the season with a hamstring injury, is integrating back into training as he continues his comeback, while Hugo Keenan is due back on the paddock this week after sustaining knee ligament damage whilst playing for Ireland 7s.

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Dan Leavy, meanwhile, is ‘progressing well’ after undergoing surgeries to repair his ACL and MCL earlier in the summer. The flanker has been out since suffering that horrific injury against Ulster back in March. 

Leinster begin their pre-season schedule against English Championship side Coventry at Donnybrook this Saturday [KO 3pm], before Cullen’s squad travel to Ontario to face the Canadian national team on 24 August. 

The Pro14 champions will finalise their preparations for their season-opener against Benetton when they play Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on 12 September. 

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Ryan Bailey

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