LEINSTER HAVE DOWNPLAYED the severity of Dan Leavy’s neck injury, confirming the flanker does not need a procedure to correct the issue which ruled him out of Ireland’s win over the All Blacks.
Leavy missed the final two games of the November Test window, and is unavailable for selection again this weekend as Leinster continue their Guinness Pro14 campaign away to the Dragons [KO 5.15pm, eir Sport/TG4].
Leavy during Leinster squad training yesterday. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO
The 24-year-old’s withdrawal from Joe Schmidt’s team to face the All Blacks a fortnight ago was initially down to ‘general tightness’, before later being confirmed as a neck strain upon his release back to Leinster.
Leavy entered a period of rehabilitation last week and despite being named alongside long-term absentees Fergus McFadden, Joe Tomane, Robbie Henshaw and Sean O’Brien in Leinster’s injury update yesterday, the province insist ‘it’s not a huge deal.’
Scrum coach John Fogarty said: “I don’t think it is overly serious. I haven’t got a [return] timeline for you at all.
“It’s not a huge deal. There is no procedure, or anything like that. It’s just a matter of getting pain reduced as far as I’m aware. It is nothing major.
“You have to see how these things play out. The way he plays the game, he’s always going to be in the firing line.”
Leinster will hope Leavy is fit in time for next month’s Heineken Champions Cup double-header against Bath, particularly with O’Brien sidelined indefinitely with a broken arm, although the form of Josh van der Flier will ease Leo Cullen’s headaches at openside.
Meanwhile, Fogarty paid tribute to Leinster captain Johnny Sexton after the out-half was named World Rugby Player of the Year in Monaco on Sunday.
“He consistently strives to get better. He genuinely does,” he said of the 33-year-old.
“He is someone we’re very proud of in how he leads us as a group and how he drives the group and how he pushes standards. To collect that accolade, it’s huge.