Ireland and Leinster sweat on Kearney
October 3, 2012
Rob Kearney could miss Ireland's November Tests © Getty Images
Ireland and Leinster face an anxious wait over the fitness of Rob Kearney with the fullback facing a potentially lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Kearney is suffering from a back injury that could keep him out of action for up to six weeks. If Leinster and Ireland's worst fears are confirmed, then Kearney is likely to miss his province's first two matches in this season's Heineken Cup along with some of the November Tests.
Ireland kick-off their autumn Test series with a match against South Africa on November 10 and Ireland boss Declan Kidney will hope to have Kearney - who is regarded as one of the best fullbacks in the northern hemisphere - available.
"There's no major damage with Rob," Leinster boss Joe Schmidt explained to the Irish Independent. "He's very uncomfortable. There's quite a bad haematoma there, with that bad blood being a real irritant, and hopefully as that drains away he should come right quite quickly. He won't be available for Munster but maybe beyond that we'd cross our fingers."
But in better news for Kidney, 2009 British & Irish Lions captain Paul O'Connell is set to make his long awaited comeback from injury against Leinster on Saturday. He has been sidelined since May and is hopeful of making the bench for the all-Irish affair.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton