Leinster boss Joe Schmidt confirmed he will have five players back from injury ahead of the Heineken Cup.
Brian O’Driscoll, Rob Kearney, Luke Fitzgerald, David Kearney and Eoin O’Malley should be in the side for this weekend’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash with Edinburgh on Friday.
“We would be quietly confident we will see Luke, Brian, Dave, Rob and Eoin all training fully next week and available for selection.
“That’s a prospect that would be ideal, especially after losing Andrew Conway. It looks like he might have a bad dead leg after going up in the air and being taken out. He’s a little bit sore and it just means we have some good reinforcements coming in to cover.”
However, he has promised that O’Driscoll and Rob Kearney’s return will only be a gradual one to make sure they are ready for the Heineken Cup.
“Both are very confident about it. Contact hasn’t really been the issue for them, it was more a discomfort trying to run. We don’t foresee any problems but we’re not going to take any risks either.
“I’m confident about both of them and Luke as well, and Dave and Eoin, so I would love to have a really good headache this week because I’ve had some bad headaches in recent weeks and it would be a bit of a luxury.
“The problem I do have is that if we do get them back for Edinburgh there is not a lot of time to knit ourselves back together when we have to chase big games. It would have been nice to get a run of two to three games with those guys available and challenging for spots, but it’s not a perfect world unfortunately.”
Schmidt figures Isa Nacewa needs a further week.
“If we have everyone else available I think we’ll try to give Isa another week. It’s some deep bone bruising and we want to try to let that heal fully. Hopefully, we will have everyone else back and Isa fits in so easily that I wouldn’t have too many fears about him coming straight into the side for Scarlets or Exeter.”
Leinster must win both remaining Heineken Cup games, and probably each of them by winning bonus points, to amass 20 points and give themselves a chance of making it through to the quarter finals as one of the best pool runners-up.
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