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Magners League
Byrne and Holah blow for Ospreys
ESPNscrum Staff
December 8, 2010
Ospreys fullback Lee Byrne off-loads the ball, Leicester Tigers v Ospreys, Heineken Cup, Welford Road, Leicester, England, October 11, 2009
Byrne will miss the back-to-back clashes with Munster due to a thumb injury © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Lee Byrne | Marty Holah
Tournaments/Tours: Heineken Cup | Magners League
Teams: Ospreys | Wales

The Ospreys' Heineken Cup hopes have been dealt a blow with the news that fullback Lee Byrne will miss the back-to-back clashes with Munster due to a thumb injury.

The Wales international suffered a fractured thumb in the recent defeat to New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium but a full diagnosis was delayed after Byrne failed to attend a consultation with a specialist. He missed the Ospreys' Magners League victory over Edinburgh last weekend and is set to be sidelined for a further five weeks.

"We're now in a position to confirm the severity of the injury Lee suffered in the recent Test match against New Zealand, which kept him out of the Edinburgh fixture last weekend," said Ospreys physio Chris Towers in a strongly-worded statement that appears to criticise Byrne's actions. "Further investigations yesterday confirmed a fracture at the base of the thumb, and in light of this he is unlikely to be available for selection for an estimated period of five weeks from now."

In addition to missing the initial consultation scheduled by the Welsh Rugby Union, Byrne also failed to report to a screening on his return to the Ospreys, meaning the region's medical team were not in a position to effectively confirm a diagnosis of his injury status until late last week. As a result, he was named in the initial matchday squad for the Edinburgh match until the severity of the issue became clear.

In a further blow to the Ospreys' hopes, Marty Holah has been handed a two-week ban by a Welsh Rugby Union professional disciplinary panel. Holah was cited for alleged breaches of Law 10.4, namely tripping an opponent and playing an opponent without the ball, during Saturday's Magners League match against Edinburgh.

The player was found guilty on both counts with the offences being considered 'mid range'. He has 48 hours to lodge any appeal.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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