Seasonal re-appearances: Fitzgerald and O'Malley nearing return
Luke Fitzgerald and Eoin O’Malley are both expected to make their seasonal reappearances for Leinster in their Rabo Direct Pro 12 clash away to league leaders Ulster next Friday. The Clermont games have come just too soon for them but both players have been pencilled in for some involvement at Ravenhill.
The 25-year-old Fitzgerald has been sidelined since last season’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Clermont due to a recurring neck/shoulder injury which required surgery and which even prompted rumours that it might threaten his career.
O’Malley (24) is in line to make a long-awaited 50th appearance for the province in Ravenhill (where all 11,200 tickets were sold in half an hour last week) after suffering a broken leg and damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in the Pro12 semi-final against Glasgow last May.
Dave Kearney is expected to return this Saturday against Clermont and Brian O’Driscoll and Rob Kearney are on course for a return in January.
Considering the injury woes inflicted upon their backline it was a remarkable effort to push Clermont so close in their Stade Marcel Michelin citadel last Sunday.
If they can beat the star-studded French outfit at the Aviva on Saturday the European champions ought to look immeasurably healthier in the new year.