Rob Kearney remains a serious doubt for Saturday’s Guinness Series Test against Argentina with the full-back set to meet Ireland boss Joe Schmidt and team medics this morning to determine his ability to train this week.
Head coach Schmidt did give the all clear to flanker and vice-captain Peter O’Mahony as he looked ahead to the visit of Mario Ledesma’s Pumas to a sold-out Aviva Stadium this weekend but fellow shoulder injury concern Kearney faces a battle to be fit to train tomorrow at Carton House.
Ireland’s first-choice full-back sustained the injury playing for Leinster in Treviso nine days ago and has been receiving treatment ever since.
O’Mahony hurt himself at the end of a bruising home win over Glasgow Warriors the previous evening but was fit enough to train under Schmidt’s supervision last week, with the bulk of the leadership group spared the trip to Chicago to play Italy.
Speaking following Ireland’s 54-7 victory over Italy at Soldier Field, Schmidt gave an update on the status of both O’Mahony and Kearney.
“Definitely, there’s nothing the matter with Pete. Peter’s fine and trained fully during the week.
“Rob, he’d be a chance. I think he probably will struggle to make Tuesday’s training which might mean that Saturday might be too soon for him but I’ll have a better idea once I hit the ground on Monday morning and touch base with them.
“He’ll be straight into camp and I’ll catch up with him then and so will the medics and we’ll make a decision on the back of that.”
After a week of splitting his squad between Kildare and Chicago, Schmidt will have his 42-man group reunited under the same roof at Carton House with the return of the 26-player travelling party this morning as preparations for the Pumas finally begin in earnest.
“I’m never happy. I’d like more time,” Schmidt said before jokingly referring to England’s preparations for the November test window.
“I’d like to have maybe spent eight days in Portugal, probably on holiday without the team.
“But at the same time, I think those opportunities to keep building, we have to condense those into two trainings this week.
“We don’t arrive back until Monday so Tuesday is the earliest we will train. Some of these guys will need to be looked after a little bit after catching up with jet lag.
“Then we train Thursday and I think Argentina on Saturday is going to be a heck of a game.
“I think they are coming fully loaded, coming fully fresh.
“They have had a great window to prep themselves so from that perspective, I think the full house in the Aviva, I hope they are going to get value for money.
“I think you are going to get two teams going toe-to-toe at a pretty high level, I’m hoping,” he added.