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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 14 December, 2018

Young flanker O'Brien faces lengthy absence as Connacht's injury list grows

Kieran Keane will be without a number of players for this weekend’s clash with Cardiff Blues.

O'Brien picked up the knock against the Kings.
O'Brien picked up the knock against the Kings.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT HAVE BEEN dealt another injury setback with the news flanker Sean O’Brien will be sidelined until the new year after undergoing shoulder surgery.

The 22-year-old sustained the injury in the second game of the Pro14 season against the Southern Kings and was forced to go under the knife to rectify the issue. He will be out for three to four months.

Kieran Keane will also be without winger Matt Healy for the next few weeks after he injured his groin in training last week, while Tiernan O’Halloran is back in the treatment room after going off during the defeat to Dragons last Friday.

The Ireland international fullback picked up a hip injury at Rodney Parade and will be closely monitored this week by the province’s medical staff ahead of Saturday’s game against Cardiff Blues.

With O’Halloran a doubt for this weekend and Healy facing two to three weeks out, Keane’s options in the back three are severely depleted with Cormac Brennan (shoulder) and Niyi Adeolokun (knee) both also unavailable.

Centre Peter Robb is a long-term injury layoff after hip surgery while scrum-half James Mitchell, a summer arrival from Sale Sharks, is still working his way back to full fitness after a shoulder problem.

Connacht welcome the Blues to the Sportsground on Saturday afternoon having lost two of their opening three games under Keane.

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Ryan Bailey

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