Fitzgerald out of Heineken Cup final
May 4, 2012
Luke Fitzgerald will miss the Heineken Cup final © PA Photos
Luke Fitzgerald will miss the Heineken Cup final and Ireland's tour of New Zealand in order to undergo neck surgery.
The Leinster winger has been ruled out for the remainder of the season in order to correct the persistent problem, meaning that he will not be available as they seek to secure back-to-back European titles against Ulster at Twickenham on May 19.
Fitzgerald has not played for Ireland since August 2011, with this latest setback ensuring that an international recall is again not on the cards.
"Obviously to lose a player of Luke's pedigree at such a crucial time of the season is a massive blow, not just for the team and our supporters, but also for the player himself," Leinster boss Joe Schmidt said. "Luke has been in fine form recently and as well as his capabilities on the field, he is a positive and popular presence within the dressing-room.
"Knowing Luke, he will be determined to overcome this setback and aggressively tackle his rehab to regain full fitness and he will continue to benefit from the full support of Leinster and the IRFU during that timeframe."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Ireland's 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