The Connacht medical team have issued the following update ahead of the province’s GUINNESS PRO14 encounter with the Toyota Cheetahs at the Sportsground on Saturday (kick-off 7.35pm).
Dominic Robertson McCoy is recovering from his thumb surgery last week and will be out of action until the end of 2017, while fellow prop JP Cooney sustained an ankle injury in the Connacht Eagles game against Ealing Trailfinders and will be out of action for a number of weeks.
Andrew Browne will undergo surgery this week for an ongoing Achilles injury and will return in early 2018. Jarrad Butler, the province’s man-of-the-match against Munster, has undergone surgery on a knee injury sustained during last week’s interprovincial derby win and will be out of action for up to six weeks.
Meanwhile, James Connolly sustained an ankle injury during the westerners’ recent Challenge Cup victory over Worcester Warriors and will be reviewed by a specialist this week, following which a course of treatment will be determined.
Jake Heenan is progressing well in his recovery from a knee injury and will return to action next month, while fellow back rower Sean O’Brien is recovering following shoulder surgery and will be out of action until early 2018.
In the backs division, Eoin Griffin sustained a low grade injury to his calf against Worcester and is being managed by the medical and performance staff. Fellow centre Peter Robb is progressing well following his hip surgery and will return to training with the squad in December.
Stacey Ili sustained a shoulder injury in British & Irish Cup action with the Eagles and will undergo rehabilitation with the medical and performance teams over the coming weeks, while Cormac Brennan underwent shoulder surgery and will return to action in February 2018.
Looking forward to the clash with the Cheetahs, Connacht backs Nigel Carolan has acknowledged the South Africans’ impressive recent form and is fully aware of the threat they pose.
“When the Cheetahs lost their first two games some people started writing them off immediately, but I noticed the likes of Rassie Erasmus, who would know them better than most, predicted this improvement,” said Carolan.
“They were well beaten by Ulster and Munster when they fell apart, but they had a great win at home to Leinster and that really kick-started their season. They are a really attacking, exciting team and we will need to be at our best to beat them.”
Following his match-winning try against the Munstermen, centre Tom Farrell is also conscious of the Cheetahs’ attacking style and the challenge that will pose from a defensive point of view.
“We have had a good look at them and looked at plenty of footage of them and they are a really attacking team. They love to run with the ball and score tries and they have scored plenty of them so far,” he explained. “We will really need to put in a big defensive display and prevent them getting a foothold. We did well in defence in the win against Munster, but we also made mistakes, so we were left with plenty to work on.”
Tickets for Connacht v Toyota Cheetahs at the Sportsground are still available, with only a handful of spots available in the Main Terrace. Click here to buy now.