Shoulder surgery would rule Seán O’Brien out of summer tour

Leinster and Ireland flanker has been ridiculously unfortunate with injury this season

Leinster’s Sean O’Brien is unlikely to feature again this season for the province. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster’s Sean O’Brien is unlikely to feature again this season for the province. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Seán O’Brien not only looks set to miss Leinster’s Champions Cup semi-final against the Scarlets at the Aviva stadium on Saturday but may require shoulder surgery that would rule him out for the rest of the season and potentially Ireland’s three test summer tour to Australia.

The story, which first appeared on the 42.ie website, indicated that the bang he took to his shoulder which forced him off at half-time in last weekend’s Guinness Pro14 match against Benetton is a recurrence of the damage he suffered to the joint against the Scarlets on March 9th.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said in the immediate aftermath of the defeat to the Italian side: “Yeah, we’re just trying to manage Seán coming back. He’s a little bit sore around his shoulder, so we just wanted to manage him.

“The aim was to get through 40, see how he was at halftime and really make a call at that stage and that’s what we did.” The likelihood is that a subsequent scan revealed an issue with the joint.

The 31-year-old flanker has been ridiculously unfortunate with injury this season, playing just six matches for the province and 67-minutes in total since January 1st, 2018.

He missed Ireland’s Six Nations Championship Grand Slam with a hip problem, the last of his 51 caps coming against Argentina in the 2017 November test series. O’Brien played two matches in that series including 80-minutes against the Springboks.

If the issue does require an operation it makes perfect sense for him to have the surgery and concentrate on coming back fully refreshed in time for the 2018-2019 pre-season training.

The Leinster team to play the Scarlets will be announced on Friday when a medical update will be available on O’Brien. The province also play a British & Irish Cup semi-final away to the Jersey Reds on Saturday (3.0) and that team will also be confirmed at midday on Friday.

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