O'Connell facing tour KO
May 14, 2010
O'Connell has been plagued by a groin injury since the start of the year © Getty Images
Ireland lock Paul O'Connell is set to miss this summer's tour to Australia and New Zealand as he continues to battle back from a groin injury.
The Munster talisman, who has not played since Ireland's final Six Nations match on March 20, has been attending hospital in Cork where he has been receiving intravenous antibiotics to tackle an infection. He has not appeared for his province since the Heineken Cup clash with Northampton in January and has reportedly been ruled out of next month's tour with Ireland coach Declan Kidney preferring to give the veteran an extended recuperation period.
O'Connell has aired his frustration at his enforced lay-off but remains determined to win his fitness battle. "I've spent more time than is healthy staring out of the window of the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork over the past eight days watching the world go by," he wrote in his blog for sponsors O2. "It's not quite that melodramatic as I'm hardly a prisoner, having been able to slip out to meet friends, family and team-mates for a coffee or a bite to eat in between treatments.
"My enforced sabbatical from the game has been hugely frustrating, a sequence initially of MRI scans, rehabilitative processes and now an intravenous course of antibiotics. Once I stopped training and the inflammation was still getting worse the emphasis on what needed to be done, changed. An infection was identified as the primary cause of my discomfort.
"I was originally given a heavy dose of oral antibiotics but after another scan last Wednesday week the antibiotics were administered by intravenous drip: three times a day for 20 minutes. You always associate hospitals with being sick and I don't feel that way, which is unsettling.
"I have been extraordinarily well looked after in the Bon Secours and had plenty of visitors but I miss home. I'll be going there on Thursday or Friday. The doctors are pretty confident that if I maintain the current course that progress will be appreciable.
"There is very little blood supply to the tendons and muscles in question so it's a tricky process. No sportsperson likes to be injured and I'd love to be in the RDS this weekend, but my responsibility now is to ensure that I get my body completely right before returning to the game."
Ireland's summer tour kicks off against the All Blacks at Yarrow Stadium on June 12.
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers