Robbie Henshaw to be sidelined for four months

Leinster and Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw is set to be sidelined until the end of October following his pectoral tear injury suffered last week playing for the British & Irish Lions in Wellington, writes Simon Lewis.

Henshaw, 24, was forced off after just 19 minutes of last Tuesday's tour game against the Hurricanes and was ruled out for the remainder of the New Zealand tour two days later.

The Ireland star returned home to Dublin after last Saturday's second Test to undergo surgery to reattach the pectoral muscle to the bone is had been torn from and Lions team doctor Eanna Falvey on Tuesday estimated the guideline recovery time for such an injury was four months.

"With regard to Robbie Henshaw, that was a pretty significant injury, he's completely avulsed the muscle from the bone which requires being re-attached to the bone,” Falvey said in Queenstown.

“That’s usually about a 16-week recovery. He may do slightly better but that’s usually what we’re looking at with a situation like that.”

Also sidelined currently is Henshaw's regular Irish midfield partner and fellow Lion Jared Payne, who was withdrawn from the Hurricanes game due to persistent headaches. The Ulster player did not travel with the rest of the squad following last Saturday's Test victory over the All Blacks in Wellington, instead remaining in the New Zealand capital to consult a specialist.

“Jared is actually undergoing some tests independent of concussion,” Falvey said. “He’s actually suffering from migraines, so he’s having some tests around that. He had a bang in the Chiefs game, from which he recovered fully and was cleared of concussion on the HIA (Head Injury Assessment) process on a subsequent specialist’s review, but he’s been struggling with migraines and that’s an independent process since then.

“Thankfully all his tests have been good, there's nothing concerning there but he's suffering from migrainous symptoms at the moment.

"The specialist who saw him in Wellington is quite happy with him. We have a couple more minor tests to do which are still outstanding, that will give us more idea of when he'll (return).

“There's nothing of concern at the moment, it's just while he still has a headache he won’t be training at the moment.”

Falvey reported an otherwise full deck for head coach Warren Gatland to select from for this Saturday's series-deciding Test match against the world champions at Eden Park.

The Lions have been enjoying two days rest and recovery in the adventure resort by Lake Wakatipu but will return to training on Wednesday before flying to Auckland, with Gatland announcing the third Test matchday squad on Thursday.

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