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Leinster's Johnny Sexton on track to recover for Toulouse semi-final

The 33-year-old will increase his training load this week after a quad injury.

LEINSTER CAPTAIN JOHNNY Sexton is on track to be fit for his team’s Heineken Champions Cup semi-final against Toulouse as he steps up his training load this week.

The defending European champions clash with Toulouse in Dublin on 21 April and there has been concern around out-half Sexton after he missed their quarter-final victory over Ulster two weekends ago due to a quad injury.

Johnny Sexton The 33-year-old was pulled from the Ulster game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

However, Leinster confirmed today that the 33-year-old will “increase his training load” in the coming days and the province don’t think his involvement against Toulouse is in doubt.

“No, not that I’m aware of,” said assistant coach Felipe Contepomi this afternoon.

“He didn’t play before because it was a tiny thing that occurred late in the week coming into Ulster and he wasn’t fit to play for that game but it’s definitely not something that would rule him out of the finals.

“He’s working well and we hope he’s fit for Toulouse, definitely.”

While Contepomi said Sexton is “getting better and getting fitter” it’s unlikely that the playmaker will be risked this weekend against Glasgow Warriors in the Guinness Pro14.

Leinster confirmed that front-liners Robbie Henshaw and Devin Toner are both due to be available for selection for that meeting with Glasgow after fully recovering from dead leg and ankle injuries, respectively.

“They came back for training at the end of last week and if everything goes to plan, they should be up for selection,” said Contepomi.

“Everyone is hungry because it’s finals rugby now and everyone wants to be involved on the big dates. To be there on the big dates, you have to be performing well and the truth is that there’s a lot of competition here. There are a lot of hands up for places.”

Robbie Henshaw Robbie Henshaw is back this weekend. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Last weekend’s draw with Benetton took some toll on Leinster injury-wise, with second row Mick Kearney suffering a serious shoulder injury that could end his season.

Leinster say he requires “further assessment” and is definitely unavailable for the Glasgow game.

Noel Reid sustained a head injury against Benetton and will follow the graduated return-to-play protocols this week.

Centre Rory O’Loughlin will continue to be assessed by Leinster’s medical team after picking up a hamstring injury against Ulster, although it’s understood he has been doing some running in training.

Meanwhile, second row Ross Molony is dealing with a back issue around which there is still some uncertainty. The 24-year-old was close to being involved on match day over the last two weekends but was ruled out at a late stage in both cases.

“At the moment, he’s not fit,” said Contepomi. “He’s had a back problem and is trying to get fit and be available for selection. It’s difficult to say how close he is because he’s being assessed every day.” 

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Murray Kinsella

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