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Foreign Affairs

Racing rule Sexton out of Italy game, IRFU say he might still make it

The French club say ligament damage will require between ’10 days and six weeks’ recovery time.

Updated 18.20

RACING METRO COACH Laurent Labit says that Ireland out-half Jonathan Sexton will be out of action for at least 10 days.

Ireland’s medical team, however, insist that the out-half is on course to shake off the thumb injury in time for the Six Nations visit of Italy on Saturday March 8.

The out-half suffered the injury in Ireland’s 13 – 10 defeat to England on Saturday and left London with a splint on his hand.

However, international head coach Joe Schmidt indicated on Tuesday that although Sexton was in pain, he was still able to pass and use his hands.

Labit today told press in Paris: ‘Sexton has damaged ligaments in the thumb and will be unavailable for between 10 days and six weeks.’

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In response to that prognosis, the IRFU have this evening issued an updated injury bulletin which, after the scans were reviewed by a specialist:

“The ligament damage sustained does not warrant surgery and if Johnny continues his current rate of improvement we would be confident that he will be available for selection against Italy.”

Also included on the official injury update is Andrew Trimble who sustained a knock to his knee in training. The injury is not believed to be serious, but the winger will be reviewed again tomorrow.

Brian O’Driscoll performed his exercises off-feet while the rest of the squad trained normally. However, the former captain did take a full part in the rugby section of training when the senior internationals were opposed by a combined academy selection from Ulster and Leinster.

Peter O’Mahony continues to recover from a hamstring strain, but the Munster flanker has yet to begin running. It is hoped he will do so over the weekend before the squad regroup in Carton House on Monday.

Originally published 15.10 

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