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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Leinster hopeful surgery can put ‘ongoing’ Sean O’Brien ankle issue to bed

Coach Richie Murphy took time to give a few more details on the injuries to Cian Healy and Sean O’Brien.

Sean O'Brien (and Denise) took in Saturday's All-Ireland SHC final replay.
Sean O'Brien (and Denise) took in Saturday's All-Ireland SHC final replay.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

LEINSTER REMAIN HOPEFUL that Sean O’Brien will be back in competitive action sooner rather than later after the flanker underwent surgery on his ankle.

The Tullow man was revealed to have had a loose ‘body’ in his ankle after exploratory surgery earlier this month.

Speaking about the powerful ball-carriers on Leinster’s injury list, kicking coach Richie Murphy said the openside is “recovering well” after having the body removed.

“I can’t really answer all the questions, but there’s a bit of an ongoing thing with his ankle.

“It was felt we needed to do something with it so we went and had a look. And they found a body in there and took it out. They’re hoping that will solve the problem.”

Though he did not venture to narrow the time-frame for O’Brien’s recovery after head coach Matt O’Connor suggested he would be out for at least three weeks.

Sean O'Brien and Ian Madigan

And while Jack McGrath has recovered from a calf problem and Rob Kearney looks likely to shake off a dead leg in time to train on Thursday and face Munster, there was no such hint of positivity around Cian Healy’s ‘freak’ hamstring injury.

The loosehead prop will be sidelined for at least four months after having an operation on an insertion point of his hamstring – where the muscle is attached to the bone.

“He’s going to be out for a fair bit of time,” Murphy explains.

“It was a bit of a freak injury in training. There was no contact or anything, it was just a really strange thing – his foot got jammed in the ground and he went over it. And so it ends up he’s had an operation on the insertion of the hamstring and he’ll probably be out for somewhere between four and six months.”

Murphy added: “It’s a massive loss to our squad; him as a person and him as a player. Not many props in world rugby can do the things that Cian Healy does.

“From our side of it, we’re very lucky: we’ve got Jack McGrath there, Michael Bent and young Ed Byrne coming through. We’re pretty well-stocked in that position. Although [Cian] will be a massive loss, the likes of Jack are really well capable of stepping in there and doing a job.”

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