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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 9 December, 2019

Leinster preparing to bring Strauss back 'banging bodies' in time to face Munster

The hooker appeared to be still doing non-contact training today, but that’s all about to change.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

LEINSTER HOPE TO have Ireland international hooker Richardt Strauss back in time for their Pro12 clash with Munster early next month.

The South African-born forward made a brilliant recovery from heart surgery late last year, but his run-in in the second half of the campaign was dogged by ankle and hamstring injuries.

Today Leinster scrum coach Marco Caputo, who obviously works closely with Strauss, says the 28-year-old is ready to return to contact training sessions with the wider squad.

“He’s not far away at all,” says Caputo. “We’re going to integrate him into contact this week and get him scrummaging. He’s ticked all the boxes as far as his rehab goes. We’ll get him banging bodies on bodies this week and that will give us an indication.

“We’re hoping to have him back before the Munster game.”

As the physios wave goodbye to one South African hamstring though, another comes through the door. Zane Kirchner suffered his injury during the comfortable win over Scarlets on Saturday.

The fullback was undergoing a scan to determine the seriousness of the injury as Caputo was speaking, but he did add that he would be ‘surprised to see him this weekend’.

Shane Jennings was another injury concern after the bonus-point win after the flanker did not emerge after half-time at the RDS.

“Shane got a bang on his shoulder,” Caputo said, “we just decided to keep him off the pitch. From my understanding neither of those are too serious. They’ll be properly diagnosed today.”

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Sean Farrell

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