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Cruel blow for Kearney as toe injury means he faces another spell on the sidelines

The winger suffered a head knock and toe injury on Friday night.

Kearney suffered the injury against Edinburgh.
Kearney suffered the injury against Edinburgh.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

TWO GAMES INTO his return from a four-month layoff, Dave Kearney now faces another period on the sidelines with a toe injury sustained in Friday’s win over Edinburgh.

The winger was replaced at half-time during the province’s six-try victory at the RDS after failing a Head Injury Assessment but it has now emerged he also damaged his toe.

Leinster say the Ireland international will seek further opinion this week on the problem with Stuart Lancaster admitting that he is expected to be out for a couple of weeks at least.

“It’s a frustrating one for him because he’s worked really hard to get fit and now he’s going to have a couple more weeks on the sideline,” Lancaster said this afternoon.

“It’s part of the game, for someone like him he’s got plenty of years ahead of him, he’s still a young player and he’s played a lot for Ireland. For me, he’s someone we should be looking out for for the next number of years at least.

“It’s a small setback but he’s going to be fit come the end of the season and we’re going to need players like Dave fit and available and he’ll be fit by then.”

There was also bad news for Josh van der Flier, who suffered a grade 3 injury to his AC joint in his shoulder in the first half against Edinburgh.

Josh van der Flier leaves the field with an injury Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The flanker, who was last night left out of Joe Schmidt’s squad for France, is undergoing further assessment on the injury this week.

“The win came at a cost and I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation where we’ve had to make four changes by half time so credit to the boys who did really well to come out and manage that and come out on top,” Lancaster added.

“It’s really disappointing for Josh, obviously it’s a grade 3 AC joint injury. We’ve still got to get an opinion on it but there are players we know who’ve turned it around within three weeks so it sounds terrible but actually you can turn this around in quite a short space of time depending on what the experts say.

“Clearly out for the next week or two which is a shame for him but it’s another opportunity for Dan Leavy to show what he can do.

“But Josh is pretty resilient and very very professional so he’ll do everything in his power to get back as fit as possible. I already see him rehabbing down there now, he’s been in the team review this morning so he’s up and about just frustrated.”

Rory O’Loughlin (AC joint), Noel Reid (head), Mike McCarthy (cramp) and Joey Carbery (cramp) were all part of the walking wounded from the weekend’s game but are expected to be available for selection this week.

O’Loughlin is the one doubt after a shoulder injury he has been carrying for the last while flared up after making a tackle during the first half on Friday night.

Dominic Ryan, meanwhile, is unavailable for the visit to Dragons as he follows the return to play protocols after his head knock, but the luckless flanker also injured his medial ligament in his knee and is being assessed by Leinster’s medical staff.

Rhys Ruddock will return to full training this week, Isa Nacewa remains out for a few weeks and there was no update on the fitness of Tom Daly, Sean Cronin or Jordi Murphy.

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Van der Flier, Carbery and Dillane not included in Ireland squad to face France

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Ryan Bailey

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