Strauss injury not as bad as feared
Rugby:There was some good news for Leinster coach Joe Schmidt and his Ireland counterpart Declan Kidney following a disappointing weekend for the Irish provinces in the Heineken Cup as the injury sustained by Richardt Strauss is not as serious as first feared.
The Leinster hooker retired injured after 11 minutes of the game against Clermont Auvergne at the Aviva stadium, twisting his knee. It was initially thought that he had suffered cruciate ligament damage, threatening his season.
However at a Leinster press briefing in UCD this afternoon, it was confirmed that after undergoing a scan yesterday he had suffered a medial ligament injury and may only be out for four weeks.
Openside flanker Shane Jennings picked up a shoulder injury in the same match. He will be monitored by the medical team and is considered a doubt for Friday’s Pro12 game against Ulster in Belfast alongside Isa Nacewa, who suffered deep bruising to his arm. Dave Kearney returned for the province on Saturday after his recent quad strain.
Friday night’s game could come a week or two too soon for Luke Fitzgerald, who has stepped up his rehabilitation programme this week, but it is hoped that the Ireland international could come into the frame for either the home game against Connacht in the RDS on December 29th or for the Edinburgh match away at Murrayfield the following week.
There was good news for the province with Eoin O’Malley successfully coming through his first outing in the province’s 44-13 British & Irish Cup win over Jersey yesterday afternoon and the centre will potentially come into the frame this week. In a further fitness boost, hooker Aaron Dundon and wing forward Dominic Ryan both came through their second successive games for the ‘A’ team after their recent long-term spells on the sidelines.
Ulster were also left counting the physical cost of their defeat to Northampton at Ravenhill on Saturday evening, with wing Tommy Bowe facing surgery this week on lateral ligament damage to his right knee.
And there was further bad news this evening, with confirmation that secondrow Dan Tuohy will be out for up to four weeks after a scan showed he suffered a torn calf muscle against the Saints.
It means Ulster coach Mark Anscombe has lost his two key locks over the back-to-back games against Northampton, after regular captain Johann Muller was sidelined for eight weeks with a hand injury picked up in the game at Franklin’s Gardens.
Outhalf Paddy Jackson sustained a dead leg in the game at Ravenhill, but is responding well to treatment and is likely to be available for selection for the visit of Leinster.