Ahead of their final Pool 5 match in the Challenge Cup at home to Oyonnax, the Connacht Rugby medical team have released the following update on injuries in the squad.
Finlay Bealham sustained a knee injury in training last week and will rehabilitate under the supervision of the province’s medical and performance team over the coming weeks. Denis Buckley is continuing his rehabilitation from recent ankle surgery and will be out of action until February, while fellow prop JP Cooney is recovering from hamstring surgery and will be out of action until April.
Hooker Pat O’Toole is continuing his rehabilitation for his hamstring injury under the supervision of the medical and performance team and will return to action in mid-February.
In the second row ranks, James Cannon has reintegrated into full training this week following his shoulder injury against Munster recently, while Andrew Browne has had a minor setback in his rehabilitation and is aiming to return to training in February.
Of the back rowers, James Connolly played for Connacht Eagles last weekend with no ill-effects from his recent calf injury, but Jarrad Butler fractured his hand in the Challenge Cup draw with Worcester Warriors and will be out of action until February.
Eoin McKeon is progressing well in his rehabilitation from a calf injury and will return to team training in early February, Sean O’Brien is recovering following shoulder surgery and will return to team training in early February, and Jake Heenan is continuing his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery and will be out of action until April.
In the backs division, out-half Steve Crosbie will be out of action until the end of January with a knee injury, while centre Peter Robb sustained a hamstring injury in training last week and will be out of action for up to a month.
In more positive news, Cian Kelleher played against Worcester with no ill-effects from his recent head injury and Cormac Brennan returned to team training this week following his shoulder injury. However, Stacey Ili sustained a head injury while playing for the Eagles last weekend and will follow the return-to-play protocols.
Connacht, who has amassed 21 points, are into the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup as pool winners after securing a thrilling 24-24 draw with a stirring fight-back at Worcester. A win over bottom club Oyonnax this Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm) will ensure that quarter-final is at home.