Leinster head coach Leo Cullen issued an injury update when he spoke to the press as a media event ahead of Saturday’s Energia Park triple header, which includes matches for the province’s senior men, senior women and Under-19s.
There is positive news regarding wingers Barry Daly (collarbone) and Adam Byrne (quad) who both picked up injuries in April, ruling them out of the end of season run-in in the Heineken Champions Cup and the GUINNESS PRO14.
Daly has trained fully with the team throughout pre-season and completed a full return to contact, while Byrne has returned to full team training. Meanwhile, James Lowe (shoulder), Scott Penny (shoulder), Jamison Gibson-Park (hamstring), Hugo Keenan (knee) and Dan Leavy (knee) are all unavailable.
Lowe and Penny both underwent shoulder reconstruction at the end of the 2018/19 season and are progressing well since then. Gibson-Park is returning to training following a period of rehabilitation for his hamstring injury.
Keenan sustained a knee ligament injury while on duty with the Ireland Sevens team last month. He is currently in the final stages of his rehabilitation, while Leavy had his ACL and MCL repaired in July and is undergoing rehab.
Speaking about Lowe and Leavy, Cullen said: “With James, there’s just an accumulation of knocks I think. Sometimes, with certain body parts, if you get a bit of a tear and then get another knock and that tear becomes bigger to the point where there is instability, then you get it repaired and then you’re good to go again.
“Obviously with the season starting later some of those calls are made and (he’s) happy to bite the bullet and get that fixed up. Dan’s in with us at the moment. I know he has had a few different work experience pieces he has put together for himself.
“It’s important for the lads to have something else that they can fall back on and we’ve tried to drive that message. Dan has been excellent in terms of just being around the place and still being able to contribute. I don’t get the impression he needs anything else done. His last operation was the ACL repair.
“The ACL are all different. It is in that six-to-nine month window. Because he has had other bits going on, it will be a big chunk of time. It is impossible to give any accurate information.”
Leinster’s first game of their Bank of Ireland pre-season schedule takes place this Saturday with Coventry the visitors to Energia Park (kick-off 3pm). The Women’s Interprovincial meeting of Leinster and Connacht follows at 5.30pm, with the U-19 Interprovincial between Leinster and Ulster (kick-off 7.45pm) completing the programme.