John Cooney awaiting results of MRI scan on hamstring strain

Ulster scrumhalf was forced off after 30 minutes during their win against Glasgow

Ulster’s John Cooney leaves the field injured during the win over Glasgow. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Ulster’s John Cooney leaves the field injured during the win over Glasgow. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Ulster are awaiting the outcome of an MRI scan on John Cooney after their talismanic scrumhalf sustained a hamstring strain during Friday’s entertaining 35-29 win against Glasgow at the Kingspan Stadium.

The injury forced Cooney off just half an hour into the game, albeit Ireland under-20 scrumhalf Nathan Doak proved an able replacement. The talented and mature 19-year-old scored his first Ulster try and landed all three of his conversions in just his third appearance for the province.

Cooney will be sidelined, at the very least, for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship fixture against Zebre at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

Attack coach Dan Soper admits that Ulster are unsure as to how long the 31-year-old will be sidelined, although he says Cooney himself is optimistic he’ll be back soon.

“John, being the eternal optimist, he’s being very positive about it,” claimed Soper. “To be honest, I’d be guessing (on a timescale). I’m going off John’s expertise of knowing his own body and he’s pretty optimistic about it, but we’ll see what the scan says.”

Rob Baloucoune has also been ruled out of that game due to the groin injury which forced him off the field before the hour mark last Friday.

They join a casualty list of players currently unavailable for selection, namely Iain Henderson (thumb), Cormac Izuchukwu (knee), Luke Marshall (knee), Jack McGrath (hip), Kieran Treadwell (shoulder), Jordi Murphy and Ian Madigan.

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