A number of Connacht’s senior players are on track to return to action in the coming weeks following different surgical procedures over the summer months.
Connacht’s head physiotherapist Gavin Malouf provided an update on a number of players which came as good news for Pat Lam and his coaching team five weeks out from the start of the new season.
As part of pre-season preparations, a squad of approximately 40 players will travel to France next Monday where, in the town of Issoire, they will take part in a rigorous week-long training session.
The away trip will conclude with a game against Top 14 heavyweights Clermont Auvergne on Friday week (August 8) as part of the 2014 Challenge Auvergne de Rugby competition.
There are a number of players who will not travel next week due to their ongoing rehab schedules.
Ireland international Robbie Henshaw, who was forced to withdraw from the summer tour to Argentina in June due to an exacerbated hand ligament injury, is progressing well following surgical repair. The 21-year-old is due to resume full team training towards the end of August.
Having dislocated his shoulder during Connacht’s final home game against Cardiff Blues last season, Jason Harris-Wright had the required reconstruction surgery in May.
The 25-year-old hooker, who started 17 games last season, is currently excluded from contact training and will not travel to France. His expected ‘return to play’ date is late September.
Ronan Loughney had groin surgery three weeks ago and has resumed running this week. The Galway-born prop is likely to be back in the frame for selection ahead of the pre-season friendly away to London Wasps on August 23.
Back rower Mata Fifita will also remain in Galway next week having undergone shoulder arthroscopy in May. Rehab is going well for the 25-year-old Tongan who, while currently restricted in terms of contact training, is expected to be available for selection mid-September.
While the following players continue to work on their rehab, they are all on schedule to resume team training and will travel to France next week.
Tighthead prop Nathan White is recovering from minor back surgery he had in early June. The 33-year-old will travel to France for training and is expected to be match fit ahead of the pre-season game away to Wasps.
Hooker Sean Henry, who underwent neck surgery in March, has been integrated into team training in recent weeks. The 26-year-old from Sligo will travel to France to push for some game-time ahead of his second season with his home province.
It has been a long road to recovery for New Zealand-born flanker Jake Heenan who had shoulder reconstruction surgery back in February. The 22-year-old is now in the final stages of rehab before he resumes full training. He is expected to be available for selection ahead of the Wasps game.
Two months after his ankle reconstruction procedure, Academy graduate Jack Carty has made good progress to resume team training. The young out-half will travel to France in a bid to play a part in the clash with Clermont.
Connacht kick off the new league campaign with a home game against the Newport Gwent Dragons over the weekend of September 5/6/7. Fixture dates and kick-off times for the PRO12 are due to be confirmed in the coming days.
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