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Cullen: We Need To Be Patient And Realistic With Dan

Cullen: We Need To Be Patient And Realistic With Dan

Dan Leavy went very close to scoring a last-minute try during his comeback game for Leinster against Zebre at the RDS last Friday ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has issued an injury update ahead of next Monday’s Guinness PRO14 trip to Conference A rivals Glasgow Warriors.

On the back of no new injury concerns from the Zebre game, there was positive news for the trio of returning players – Dan Sheehan (cheekbone), Dave Kearney (hamstring) and Dan Leavy (knee) – who will train as normal this week.

While delighted to get Leavy back on the pitch last Friday after an 18-month absence, Cullen insisted: “People need to be patient and have realistic expectations. It’s March of 2019 when he got the (multi-ligament knee) injury so we have to be realistic.

“He is still a quality player with a big personality. He needs to find his rhythm. The last game he played was in front of 52,000 people in the Aviva and this (last Friday) is an RDS with no crowd, so it may feel like a training environment.

“So we’ll see how it goes. There has been the odd setback. Hopefully he hits the pitch of it and hopefully he’ll go well. It’s great for everyone.

“We’ve had to wait a long while to get to this point but huge credit to him. As we saw at the time, it was a nasty injury, 18 months ago now.

“All the medical team, especially (physiotherapist) Karl Denver, worked so hard to get him back to this point. But he did the work so huge credit to him. It will be great to see him get some action and take another step.

“We don’t have a major plan for his future, we’ve a long turnaround to Glasgow so we’ll just wait to see how everyone pulls through this week.”

Cullen outlined that both Rory O’Loughlin (calf) and Cian Kelleher (hamstring) missed the 63-8 win over Zebre with minor strains, but he was hopeful that both would be in the mix this week.

Sean Cronin is hoping to increase his training load this week after a minor thumb injury, as is fellow forward Ryan Baird who is recovering from an adductor strain he picked up against Benetton Rugby two weeks ago.

Max Deegan (knee), Tadhg Furlong (calf), Jordan Larmour (shoulder), Vakh Abdaladze (back), Conor O’Brien (hamstring) and Adam Byrne (hamstring) remain on the province’s injury list.