Head coach Leo Cullen will be without a host of star names when the Guinness Pro12 campaign kicks off in two weeks time, writes Douglas Imrie.
His Leinster side begin their campaign at home to Benetton Treviso on Friday 2nd September but will be without the likes of Jonny Sexton, Sean O’Brien and Robbie Henshaw as the injuries pile up.
Summer signing Henshaw continues his recovery after knee surgery with the timeframe for his return now at 2-3 months.
Sexton and O’Brien were forced to miss Ireland’s summer tour to South Africa along with Cian Healy.
The stand-off is scheduled to return to action in the first few rounds of domestic action, following the shoulder injury he sustained in the last season’s Pro12 final loss to Connacht.
While the two forwards are said to be “progressing well”, there is no definitive target for their return to action.
Joining them on the injury table are Rhys Ruddock (ankle), Richardt Strauss (knee), Dave Kearney (AC joint), Ed Byrne (knee) and Billy Dardis (shoulder).
On a more positive note, the province hopes that front-row Mike McCarthy, centre Noel Reid, fullback Rob Kearney and recently appointed club captain Isa Nacewa will all return to action shortly. With the friendly against Bath in two weekends’ time a likely target.
More will be revealed when Cullen names his matchday squad to play Gloucester in Tallaght Stadium this Saturday in their second pre-season friendly.