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Sean O'Brien set to miss out on Leinster's semi-final clash with Scarlets

The back row may even require surgery on his shoulder injury.

SEAN O’BRIEN IS set to miss out on Leinster’s Champions Cup semi-final clash with the Scarlets on Saturday in Dublin.

The back row injured aggravated a shoulder injury in last weekend’s Guinness Pro14 defeat to Benetton and though Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster said yesterday that O’Brien was “50-50″ to face the Scarlets, it now looks likely that he will not be involved.

The42 understands that O’Brien may even require surgery on his shoulder, which would be a major blow for a man who has suffered frustration with injuries in recent times.

Sean O'Brien O'Brien has had a frustrating time with injuries. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Carlow native missed the start of Ireland’s Grand Slam campaign due to a hip issue and although he returned for Leinster before the end of the Six Nations, he suffered a shoulder injury early in his comeback game against the Scarlets in the Pro14.

Having seemingly recovered from that problem, O’Brien made another return last weekend against Benetton but was replaced at half-time in Leinster’s home defeat.

The 31-year-old has expressed his desire to be involved in Ireland’s tour of Australia in June, meaning he will be hopeful that the possible surgery will be minor.

O’Brien missing out this weekend would be a blow for Leinster, although they are set to be boosted by the return of Jack Conan after his recent knee injury.

Even with Conan’s return to fitness, Leinster seem likely to field the same pack that started the quarter-final win against Saracens at the Aviva Stadium.

There is concern for Leinster at scrum-half, with Luke McGrath attempting to shake off a knee injury.

If McGrath is not fit to play, it’s likely that New Zealander Jamison Gibson-Park will feature at scrum-half, which could force Leinster to omit Kiwi wing James Lowe on account of EPCR limiting teams to selecting only two non-European players, with Australia Scott Fardy set to start in the back row.

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Murray Kinsella

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