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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Sean O'Brien making strides towards recovery, but Scarlets trip will come too soon

The flanker has not played since December, but is back in non-contact training with Leinster.

O'Brien (in his Tullow RFC hat) chats with with Scott Fardy and Ross Byrne on Friday.
O'Brien (in his Tullow RFC hat) chats with with Scott Fardy and Ross Byrne on Friday.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

LEINSTER AND IRELAND openside Sean O’Brien ‘will look to step up his rehabilitation’ from his hip injury this week, but remains unavailable for the Pro14 meeting with Scarlets this Saturday.

O’Brien has not played since the Champions Cup pool victory over Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Stadium in December, but after Ireland’s win over Wales on Saturday Joe Schmidt signalled the Tullow Tank was “on the cusp” of making his comeback this week.

O’Brien’s name is alongside the hamstrung Will Connors in the unavailable for selection section of Leinster’s injury report. The 31-year-old has returned to running, but must hit markers in that regard before graduating to full-contact training.

Another man nursing a hip injury, out-half Ross Byrne will will be assessed this week in the hope of facing the reigning champions in Parc y Scarlets this Saturday.

Rory O’Loughlin passed his return to play protocols last week, but not in time to face the Kings. He is back in contention to face Scarlets.

Garry Ringrose and James Tracy came through the the canter against the Kings unscathed. Jamison Gibson-Park, who departed the field late on with a cut on his knee, was not a concern for head coach Leo Cullen post-match and was not included on Leinster’s injury report.

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Sean Farrell

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