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Johnny Sexton suffers 'minor' injury but Tadhg Furlong 'very close' to return

The Ireland captain was replaced in the second half at Thomond Park on Saturday.

Sexton was forced off in the second half of Leinster's win over Munster.
Sexton was forced off in the second half of Leinster's win over Munster.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

LEINSTER SAY IRELAND captain Johnny Sexton suffered a “minor muscle injury” during Saturday’s win over Munster in the Pro14.

The province’s latest injury update confirmed that Sexton will require further assessment from the IRFU’s medical team this week as he heads into Ireland camp ahead of the Six Nations.

Head coach Andy Farrell will hope to have 35-year-old Sexton fully recovered from the hamstring issue in time for Ireland’s championship opener against Wales in Cardiff on Sunday 7 February.

Leinster say that tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong is “very close to a return” and will look to increase his training involvement this week after recovering from a calf issue.

Furlong hasn’t played since February 2020 but was named in the Ireland squad for the Six Nations earlier today. It may be that the Wexford man sees game time for Leinster away to Scarlets in the Pro14 on Saturday.

The province say wing James Lowe – who hasn’t played since Ireland’s autumn campaign due to a groin injury – will require further assessment this week when he heads into Ireland camp.

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Meanwhile, Leinster confirmed that versatile back Jimmy O’Brien will definitely miss this weekend’s meeting with Scarlets after suffering a hamstring injury against Munster in Limerick.

Tighthead prop Michael Bent remains a doubt after missing the Munster game due to a neck strain he sustained at training last week.

More positively, back row Dan Leavy and wing Dave Kearney are back in full Leinster training after being ruled out of contention for the Munster clash due to calf and hamstring issues, respectively.

Leavy and Kearney are due to be available for selection against Scarlets.

Rory O’Loughlin [shoulder], Scott Penny [neck], Conor O’Brien [knee], Tommy O’Brien [ankle], Max Deegan [knee], Vakh Abdaladze [back] and Adam Byrne [hamstring] all remain sidelined.

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