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Leinster still unsure when Jamie Heaslip will be back but insist progress has been made

The province provided another no-update update on the number eight’s fitness but say the medical team ‘feel they are on top of it.’

Heaslip has been out since last March.
Heaslip has been out since last March.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

JAMIE HEASLIP’S NAME remains a permanent fixture under the ‘no update’ section of Leinster’s weekly injury bulletin, but Girvan Dempsey insists the number eight’s rehabilitation graph is on an upward curve rather than staying frustratingly unmoved.

That said, the province are still none the wiser as to when Heaslip will return from the troublesome back injury which has kept him sidelined since Ireland’s Six Nations game in Cardiff seven months ago now.

Still, despite Leinster’s no-update updates since the start of the season, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over Heaslip’s fitness and future.

“I wish I could give you some update, in terms of timeframe,” Dempsey said yesterday.

“Unfortunately, I can’t. He is just continuing through the rehab programme and continual assessment.

“The only thing I can say to you is he has made progress. Unfortunately, we don’t have an end date.

“It is slow. It is frustrating. He’s frustrated. We’re frustrated.”

Furthermore, when asked if Heaslip had to go for a second procedure as suggested by Leo Cullen last month, Dempsey had heard nothing of the sort, but, perhaps more encouraging, was the language used by the Leinster assistant coach on Monday.

Girvan Dempsey Dempsey speaking to the media in UCD yesterday. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

He, like Cullen, has no concerns over the 33-year-old returning from the injury layoff.

“Jamie is unbelievable, in terms of his robustness and his ability to stay injury-free,” Dempsey continued.

“That’s why this has annoyed him and frustrated him.In terms of his professionalism with his rehab, he has been excellent. He has made progress and he has improved.

“We’re hopeful he can continue to do that.”

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At least now the problem has been definitively identified as a lower back issue, with Heaslip continuing to work closely with Leinster’s medical team on a daily basis.

Dempsey says the province feel ‘they are on top of it’ now but was unable to go into specifics about what exactly Heaslip’s rehabilitation work entails.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure so I’m not going to try and bluff you on it,” he added. “It’s all with the physio and rehab guys.”

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