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Irish Rugby
Kearney faces lengthy spell out
ESPN Staff
October 24, 2012
Rob Kearney of Ireland warms up during Ireland's captain's run. New Zealand v Ireland, Eden Park, Auckland, June 8, 2012.
Rob Kearney faces six to ten weeks out © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Rob Kearney
Tournaments/Tours: RaboDirect PRO12
Teams: Ireland | Leinster

Ireland have been hit with a massive blow ahead of the autumn internationals with the news that star fullback Rob Kearney has been ruled out with a back injury.

Kearney's injury requires surgery and he could be out of action for up to 10 weeks. The British & Irish Lion played for Leinster against Connacht back on September 28 in what was his first appearance of the season but he only last 32 minutes. And following an injury sustained in that match, he is now a major doubt for Leinster's matches against Clermont Auvergne in December.

The province are currently two from two in their Heineken Cup group but Clermont have made a perfect start to the tournament with two bonus point victories. While Kearney faces a race against time to play in those two matches, he will definitely miss Ireland's November Tests. Coach Declan Kidney revealed that Kearney's operation was viewed as a last resort, but he was left with no other alternative.

"Rob's having surgery tomorrow (Thursday) so that will take him out for eight to 10 weeks, so we wish him a speedy recovery," Kidney said. "We just learned yesterday (Tuesday) that he was going to have the surgery. The medics will always do everything they can to avoid interventions to the body so they'll look at all other avenues of care first.

"They've been trying but with little success, so it was decided yesterday that we must cut our cloth here."

And the news does not get much better for Leinster coach Joe Schmidt. Isa Nacewa is also injured and faces a spell of between four to six weeks out after breaking his hand against the Scarlets. It is likely that Ian Madigan will keep the No.15 shirt for their RaboDirect PRO12 game against the Cardiff Blues at the weekend after he slotted in there for their match with the Scarlets on Saturday.

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