Injuries mount for Schmidt ahead of Challenge Cup final

Injuries mount for Schmidt ahead of Challenge Cup final

With his team picking up a number of fresh injuries in Friday’s victory over Glasgow, Leinster head coach, Joe Schmidt, admitted he will be sweating on the fitness of several players ahead of Friday’s Challenge Cup final against Stade Francais.

Centres Gordon D’Arcy and Brian O’Driscoll were both forced to leave the field due to injuries during the 17-15 win over the Scottish outfit.

O’Driscoll’s departure was due to a back spasm while D’Arcy suffered a calf injury in the second half but Schmidt is hopeful about the duo making a recovery ahead of the weekend.

“We will have a look at Gordon and assess him in the next 48 hours and find out the real extent of the problem,” Schmidt said.

“Brian's back tightened up and he couldn't fully stretch out. He wanted to carry on, but it wasn't really an option against a back line like Glasgow's.

“I wouldn't be too concerned, and I'm normally concerned about everything, so that's a good sign.”

The Kiwi had hoped to give flanker Sean O’Brien some game time against the Warriors, with the Tullow man named in the initial starting team.

However, as he continued to recover from a calf injury it was decided not to risk the back rower but Schmidt is confident he will be back in action this weekend.

"We didn't want to risk playing Sean against Glasgow, but hopefully he will be alright by next Friday.”

D’Arcy and O’Driscoll were not the only blues to suffer fresh injuries against Glasgow with Jamie Heaslip sustaining a cut to his eye, Richardt Strauss took a knock to the knee while Cian Healy was winded.

A RaboDirect PRO12 final against Ulster awaits Leinster after this weekend’s European decider against Stade Francais, and Schmidt is hoping several players can win their battle for fitness in time for the two crucial games.

“I don't know we will be doing a lot in the first half of the week and we'll probably restrict our training to Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We will get the glue and sticky tape out so we can put a team together for Friday and the final the week after.”

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