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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 20 October, 2019

Tight hamstring but good spirits as Rob Kearney embarks on road to recovery

The fullback is hoping to be back in action for one of the Lions’ two warm-up matches next week.

AS HIS BRITISH and Irish Lions teammates were put through their paces on the pitch at Paterson’s Stadium in Perth, Rob Kearney slogged up and down the steps in the stands above.

Kearney has been ruled out of tomorrow’s match with Western Force and Saturday’s tie with the Queensland Reds and his hamstring injury was labelled a concern by head coach Warren Gatland. The hamstring tear is minor (grade one), however, and he was encouragingly mobile today.

The Leinster and Ireland fullback certainly seemed to be in a positive frame of mind when snapped by tour photographer Dan Sheridan:

Rob Kearney says ‘cheese’ during a solo work-out in Perth. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan) columnist David Wallace believes it would be a terrible blow for Kearney, ‘an outstanding player on the 2009 tour to South Africa’, to be ruled out of the latest rugby excursion.

He said, “He is in good hands under Dr James Robson and his medical staff. You can get back to 80% but getting back to 100% and full speed is the concern.”

Wallace recalled, “A week before I smashed up my knee, against England (prior to the 2011 World Cup), I was meant to play against France but picked up a hamstring injury. It was the first time I had ever got one and it was on the back of an intense pre-season. There was a slight twinge and a tear on the hamstring.

“Within a week I was able to get back to full speed and quicker than before the injury. Let us hope Rob can do the same.”

* will be liveblogging all the action from Lions v Western Force on Wednesday morning.

Sexton gets place-kicking duties against Force but Halfpenny a willing reserve

BO’D: Trust me, my wife has made it very clear this is going to be my last tour

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Patrick McCarry

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