Leinster are unsure if Cian Healy could be made available to them for Saturday’s Guinness Pro12 clash against Cardiff Blues.
Though named in Ireland’s World Cup squad, doubts surround Healy’s match fitness following his longer than expected recovery from neck surgery undertaken at the end of last season.
Leinster coach Leo Cullen, whose side were defeated 9-16 away to Edinburgh last Friday night, would welcome Healy with open arms but is unclear on the exact protocols.
Healy said: “I am not sure whether that 31 are able to play with us. I haven’t had a phone call yet. Everything is on a case-by-case basis. It’s important to have the link. He is a Leinster player. He potentially would be helpful to us, if he was available,” Cullen remarked.
“Again it is very much dependent on whether we can or not. He would have to come back in and train with the group, so it is very hard in a professional environment to just turn up on the day of the game without any training.
“He has got to get used to the calling structures. Some guys came back during the lead in, but they were training with us at the start of the week of the Ulster game and the start of the week of the Moseley game as well.
“They were still in the frame for World Cup selection at that stage. It was the same as Ulster, they had a few guys back with them that made it to the World Cup.”
But Cullen has no fears about Healy’s ability to get back up to the pitch of top flight rugby despite such a lengthy enforced absence.
“He is a world class player. At some stage during that World Cup he will play and then post-World Cup, he will be selected for Leinster. We saw during the Six Nations exactly what that looked like and I thought he equipped himself pretty well. He hadn’t been playing for quite a long tim, but he went into the Six Nations on the back of having not played. So in theory this would be a pretty similar scenario,” Cullen added.
Apart from the players on World Cup duty Cullen is also without the injured quartet Rhys Ruddock, Mick Kearney, Gordon D’Arcy and Marty Moore.
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