Henshaw will miss start of season while Payne remains in Wellington

The Ireland centres have both picked up injury issues on the tour of New Zealand.

Murray Kinsella reports from Queenstown

ROBBIE HENSHAW WILL miss the start of next season after suffering a pectoral muscle injury on the Lions tour.

The Leinster centre is set to be sidelined for around 16 weeks, having torn the muscle completely from the bone, meaning he may not return to action until late October.

Robbie Henshaw goes off injured with Dr. Eanna Falvey Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Meanwhile, Ulster midfielder Jared Payne is struggling with migraine symptoms and has left the Lions tour, remaining in Wellington on Sunday when the rest of the squad travelled to Queenstown.

The Lions will decide tomorrow whether or not Payne will re-join them this week or depart home.

The 31-year-old Ireland international had suffered with a calf issue earlier in the tour, meaning his return to New Zealand has been miserable.

Henshaw, who returned home to Ireland after Saturday’s second Test win over the All Blacks, had a similarly frustrating tour, although he was fully fit for the entirety before being injured against the Hurricanes.

He suffered the severe pectoral injury in a seemingly routine tackle on Vaea Fifita and was forced off the pitch in the 19th minute as a result.

“With regard to Robbie Henshaw, that was a pretty significant injury.” said Lions doctor Eanna Falvey in Queenstown today. ”He’s completely divorced the muscle from the bone.

“That needs to be reattached, so that’s usually about a 16-week recovery. He may do slightly better, but that’s probably what we’re looking at.”

It will be a blow for Leinster to have one of their key players injured for the start of the season and quite possibly missing for the two opening pool games in the Champions Cup.

And Ulster will have some worries over Payne, who was left in Wellington as he awaits results on medical tests after suffering migraine symptoms.

Payne had been set to fill the 23 shirt for the Lions against the Hurricanes last week in Wellington, but was withdrawn before the game having reported to the medical team with a headache.

Jared Payne with Dr Eanna Falvey Payne suffered a head injury against the Chiefs. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Irishman suffered a head injury late on in the game against the Chiefs two weeks ago and has not made a comeback since.

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“Jared’s slightly more difficult,” said Falvey. “Thankfully all his tests have been good, there’s nothing concerning there but he’s suffering for migrainous symptoms at the moment.

The specialist who saw him in Wellington is quite happy with him. We have a couple more minor tests to do which are still outstanding, that will give us more idea of when he’ll [return].

“There’s nothing of concern at the moment, it’s just while he still has a headache he won’t be training at the moment.”

Otherwise, the Lions are in fine health ahead of the third and final Test against the All Blacks, with Anthony Watson having passed his HIA last weekend after Sonny Bill Williams’ dangerous shoulder charge, and completed his subsequent tests in recent days.

“We’re dealing from a full squad,” said Falvey.

“Anthony, of course, had to complete his HIA process with the HIA 3 after the weekend, that’s been fine. Other than some bumps and bruises, which have really been helped by a couple of days off, we’ve got a full deck to deal from.”

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