Injury puts Cian Healy in doubt for Ireland’s Six Nations opener

Leinster’s Cian Healy looks a major doubt for Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Wales after undergoing surgery this week.

A statement issued by Leinster yesterday confirmed that prop Healy had undergone a scope and clearout of his right knee. “This was an elective procedure and while we are still waiting for the report, it is expected he will be out for three to four weeks,” they said.

Ireland begin the Six Nations campaign four weeks from Sunday (February 7) at home to Wales. Healy’s participation must be in serious doubt for that and the second game, away to France on February 13. Healy would be an automatic choice for matchday participation.

That’s not good news for Ireland’s head coach Joe Schmidt, who has also lost the services of Ulster wing Tommy Bowe — for the entire campaign — in the last 24 hours.

Leinster have mixed news on the injury front ahead of their Pro12 clash with Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow. Johnny Sexton and Luke McGrath have both been cleared to play, but head coach Leo Cullen must plan without Fergus McFadden, as well as Healy.

McFadden was yesterday banned for three weeks following a Pro12 Rugby Disciplinary Committee hearing, the player cited for stamping or trampling on an opponent in contravention of Law 10.4 (b) in the match between Leinster and Connacht on New Year’s Day.

McFadden accepted he had committed an act of foul play and that it would have warranted a red card. Accordingly, the all-Scottish Disciplinary Committee imposed a mid-range entry point suspension of five weeks but reduced it to three weeks on the basis of the player’s previous clean disciplinary record. The ban is in place up to and including Sunday, January 24.

McGrath has recovered from a foot infection and Sexton trained fully this week.

Although still unavailable, Isaac Boss is continuing rehab on his hamstring and Mick Kearney has returned to non-contact training as he steps up recovery from a toe injury. Jack Conan has had a protective boot removed as he continues to recover from a broken foot.

After a slow start with two defeats from the opening four games, Leinster are in second place in the Pro12, just a point adrift of leaders Scarlets and with a game in hand.


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