Sexton passed fit while Muldoon is out for up to 12 weeks
Injury news these past few months has been a fraught business with Brian O’Driscoll’s ankle and Rob Kearney’s back, particularly, delivering much worse news than had been offered before either of them went into the scanning room.
So when Jonathan Sexton’s groin tightened up during kicking practice prior to Ireland’s game against Fiji, the scanners were expected to be the harbingers of more bad news. This time Ireland’s team manager Mick Kearney has been assured that the clicking in Sexton’s leg has passed and that he’ll line out against Argentina on Saturday. Reassuring good news there for Declan Kidney.
But where Sexton’s story lightened that of John Muldoon was lugubrious and the Connacht man will be out for up to 12 weeks with ligament damage to his knee. He will miss Connacht’s two Heineken Cup clashes with Biarritz in December. As a result of Muldoon’s misfortune, Leinster’s Rhys Ruddock fills the vacuum and has been added to the squad.
“Jonathan Sexton will be fine,” said the Irish manager. “He basically got a bit of tightness in his groin. It was more prudent to take him out of the 23 than put him on the bench, although he may have been able to sit on the bench. He had a scan yesterday which excluded damage.
“He had treatment over the weekend. He feels fine and he’ll have modified training today (Monday) and tomorrow and expected to train fully on Thursday (Wednesday is a down day for players). We don’t have any major concerns, even minor concerns about Jonathan.”
Muldoon also had a scan with the news less encouraging but at this stage there are no plans for the backrower to have an operation, although that has not been entirely ruled out either.
“John (Muldoon) had a scan and the specialist review yesterday and it was confirmed he suffered a medial ligament tear and will be sidelines for 10-12 weeks. No operation is planned at this stage,” added Kearney.
Tommy Bowe suffered a dead leg that kept him inactive last week but started to take part in sessions again yesterday and there is little concern over his fitness for the weekend’s meeting with an improved Argentina.
Eoin Reddan, who injured his ankle against the Springboks was able to train yesterday, while Donnacha Ryan, who pulled out of the match against Fiji due to illness is again able to take part in training.
“Tommy Bowe suffered a dead leg in the quad area and didn’t train at all last week,” said Kearney. “It was initially slow to respond but he will train today and tomorrow. Eoin Reddan jarred his ankle against South Africa and that has set well. He will train fully today. Donnacha Ryan has recovered from a bug he picked up and will train fully today. Rhys Ruddock is the only other person to be called into the squad.”
Ruddock earned his first Ireland cap when he got a call up to the Irish senior squad in their summer tour of 2010. Short of backrows, the Leinster 22-year-old came in to play against Australia.