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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020

Johnny Sexton gave an update on his concussion recovery tonight

Sexton should hopefully be available for the second 6 Nations game.

Sexton has been sidelined since picking up a concussion against Australia in November.
Sexton has been sidelined since picking up a concussion against Australia in November.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THERE HAS BEEN a lot of uncertainty surrounding the health of Ireland out-half Johnny Sexton since he suffered a concussion during the autumn series but he gave an update on his recovery tonight.

Speaking to the Off The Ball show, Sexton says he feels great but that the initial 12 week period of recuperation means he is still some ways from getting back to full contact training.

“I’m feeling a lot better,” Sexton said.

“This is week seven of the 12 weeks I’ve been told to take. I’ve been training harder every week. Its around this week when the doctor told me I’d be perfect and mad keen to get back into it, and I am. But he told me I’d have to be patient.  It feels like a punishment but its for my own good.”

If the next five weeks go to plan, Sexton will be cleared to play in Ireland’s second 6 Nations game at home to France. However, having gone the guts of three months without playing a game, it would be a bit of a risk for Joe Schmidt to pick him.

A lot might depend on how Sexton’s replacement fares away to Italy in week one, and also how Sexton reacts to contact training.

“My return to play date is 14 February, so the France game,” Sexton said.

“I’ll probably have to do a few contact sessions to be considered. I’ve tried to take the positives from the situation and I’ve used the time to work on my skills and kicking.”

The reason Sexton was stood down from playing was a preemptive measure to ensure he didn’t pick up another concussion on the back of a couple during 2014.

The Racing playmaker says that while his symptoms weren’t too bad after the knock against Australia, the doctors wanted to make sure he wouldn’t face a long lay-off that could potentially rule him out of the World Cup.

“The symptoms weren’t that bad but the number of concussions that I had built up, it was just a worry,” Sexton said.

“They wanted to break a cycle rather than because of my symptoms. I did have mild symptoms. If the doctor had let me play and I had got another one I might have had to take 5 or 6 months off.”

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