Peter O’Mahony has backed Ireland team-mate Sean O’Brien to bounce back from his injury nightmare.
Leinster back row O’Brien was last week ruled out for up to six months, having been forced to undergo a second shoulder reconstruction due to the original injury becoming infected. It means the Tullow Tank will likely miss the entire European Rugby Champions Cup pool campaign and faces a race to be fit for the 2015 Six Nations.
“It’s unfortunate. The infection’s the problem... anybody who gets any sort of injection, there’s a percentage of a chance that you will be infected,” O’Mahony said.
“So it’s very unlucky but Seanie will come back from that. We all know Seanie, he’s hard as nails. It’s a setback for him but hopefully he can get everything right now. He had an issue with his ankle as well so hopefully he can put it all to bed and get a good strong run at things over the next few months and down the road as well.”
O’Mahony, speaking during the Dublin launch of the new European competition, said he had spoken to O’Brien but added: “He’s just after coming back from the same thing so he knows the road. It’s not uncommon for professional rugby players to have their shoulders re-done, it’s the main point of contact, really, when it comes to everything we do, so they do get a bit of wear and tear.
“He’ll have a good medical staff around him and we don’t want for anything when it comes to medics and doctors and specialists, they’re all at the end of a phone for us. So Seanie knows what’s involved, he’ll be well looked after.”
Injury-hit Leinster have been hit by further bad news after wing Fergus McFadden was ruled out for six weeks following his exit on a stretcher during the Munster loss.
“He’s got a pretty significant ankle sprain and a little tweak to a medial ligament in his knee,” Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor said. “But, not nearly as bad as we first thought.”
There was some good news as Leinster aim to rebound from their home reverse last Saturday, with full-back/wing Zane Kirchner in line to return this weekend for the league trip to Zebre, and new signing Ben Te’o due to arrive in Dublin this weekend, the centre having played his last rugby league game at the weekend in Australia.
Meanwhile Ulster’s acting head coach Neil Doak expects injured Springbok scrum-half Ruan Pienaar to return from knee ligament damage to face champions Toulon at Ravenhill on October 25.
“He’s back in Belfast today and the medics will have a look at him to see what the status of his injury is,” said Doak, who refused to confirm he will replace the departed Mark Anscombe on a permanent basis. “I suppose, best case, he’ll be back for Toulon.”
The wait will be longer, though, for injured Ulster second row duo Dan Tuohy and Iain Henderson. “Dan had an operation, They found a second fracture in his arm and he’s that had an operation, pretty successful. He just has to wait and let things knit,” Doak said.
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