Dan Leavy closing in on a return to full fitness

Contepomi says Leinster flanker will return stronger than he was prior to serious injury

Dan Leavy in action against Zebre as a replacement during the recent Pro14 clash. He has still to line out for  a full 80 minutes since suffering a serious injury. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Dan Leavy in action against Zebre as a replacement during the recent Pro14 clash. He has still to line out for a full 80 minutes since suffering a serious injury. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Twenty minutes on a fast track in Glasgow and Dan Leavy took another stride forward for Leinster after the horror injury that ended his World Cup hopes last year.

While coach Felipe Contepomi says they are not holding Leavy back, it may take a little more time before the highly-rated flanker begins to start matches and go a full 80 minutes.

“It was a long, long injury and coming back you have to take baby steps,” said Contepomi. “For him it’s been a great achievement in terms of playing in the RDS but then on the astro down there in Glasgow, a different surface. You have to take all into account and he’s doing great. He looks good. Very happy for him and he’ll pick it up.”

Leavy’s injury occurred against Ulster in March 2019, when a body fell on his leg at an awkward angle with terrible consequences, badly injuring his anterior and posterior ligaments.

“Look, I think if you ask him he’ll say ‘I’m ready to go a full 80,” added Contepomi. “That’s a great mindset and shows the player he is. I know sometimes as a player you want things to happen in a quicker way. The public perception they also want it to happen in a quicker way.

“Waiting another few weeks, it doesn’t do any harm. It puts him in a even better position to get to where he was or better. I think he’ll come stronger than he was before the injury. We are in a society where sometimes we don’t appreciate it and we are not patient . He’s working his way and I think he’s doing a great job. I can’t give an exact time but I think he’ll get there.”

Hooker Seán Cronin will hope to increase his training load again this week after a minor thumb injury ruled him out of contention over the last few weeks, while Ryan Baird will also hope to increase his loads this week following an adductor strain.

Prop Tadhg Furlong is on the same trajectory after a calf injury.

“I think he is on the right track,” said Contepomi of Irish tighthead Furlong”With all of these things, with his back and so on, you don’t want to put a time [on it] because you don’t know, there could be a setback. Fortunately, for the moment, he is hitting all of the steps that the physios and the medical staff are giving him. He is going on track.”

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