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Leinster hopeful of O'Brien return 'very soon'


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It looks like Sean O'Brien could see some game time for Leinster this weekend.

They take on Benetton in the Pro 14 this Saturday, in what is their last game before the Champions Cup semi final against the Scarlets on Saturday week.

O'Brien has only played around 20 minutes of rugby since December. After almost three months out with a hip problem, he injured his shoulder on his return a month ago against the Scarlets, but will step up his training this week.

Backs coach Girvan Dempsey says they're confident the Lions flanker will be back in action soon.

"Seanie's looking good, he's been running along. The shoulder is feeling pretty good. He's progressed his training, he's upped his rehab and he's going well. 

"We're very hopeful he's going to be involved at some stage, if not this week then next week."

An O'Brien return could be coming at the perfect time, with Rhys Ruddock and Jack Conan  both missing this weekend's game.

Conan will return to training from a knee injury next week, while Ruddock has suffered a re-occurrence of his hamstring problem, which kept him out for several months this year.

The province also say Luke McGrath is unlikely to feature this week, with the scrum half nursing an ankle injury. McGrath picked up the knock against Saracens, and was briefly wearing a protective boot, with the province saying he's not expected to be risked against Treviso.

There was good news for centre Tom Daly though. The centre has returned to full training this week, after spending the last 8 months rehabbing an ACL injury.

Meanwhile Munster's South African tour continues on Friday when they play the Cheetahs, and the only injury concern is for loosehead prop James Cronin.

He suffered a shoulder stinger against the Southern Kings on Saturday, and took part in non-contact training today.


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