Ahead of the Guinness PRO12 semi-final against Ulster, Leo Cullen provided the media with an update on injured players that have been left out of the team for the match at the RDS Arena.

The Leinster team to face Ulster in the Guinness PRO12 semi-final was named on Thursday afternoon, with Luke Fitzgerald returning from injury to start and Jack Conan named on the bench having been out of action since February.

Speaking about Fitzgerald’s return, Cullen said: “He’s looked sharp in training. It’s great to have him back. He’s a very exciting player when he’s on form. He’s had a few injury issues over the course of the season, but he’s looking really good in training.”

There was also an update on Sean O’Brien and Cian Healy, who were both excluded from the 23-man squad to face Ulster.

Luke Fitzgerald

“Sean O’Brien is going to see a specialist in the UK tomorrow,” Cullen said.

“The likelihood is he’s going to have surgery on that hamstring, which will rule him out for a considerable period. I’m not sure exactly how long, we’ll get the update post the procedure.

“Guys have had similar injuries and been able to rehab back to play without surgery. Other guys have had that complete rupture where they’ve gone for the surgical route straight away. He was getting close to the stage where he was pushing on his rehab and he just broke down. He sought out a few different opinions since, so he’s going the surgical route now.

“It’s frustrating for all. He’s been such a key figure in all the good things in Leinster and with Ireland as well. We’ll do all we can do to get him back to those levels again.”

Cian Healy

On Cian Healy, Cullen said: “It’s unlikely that Cian will feature this season. He’s just being assessed all the time. Apologies if that comes across as vague, but the reality is we’re just trying to get a really good plan for him. We’re assessing him on a very regular basis.

“He had a surgical procedure this time last year on his neck. It’s just taken time to come back. To complicate matters a little bit further, he’s also been carrying an issue with his knee. He’s on a really good course of action for that. We’re just managing those guys as best as we possibly can.”

When asked if Rob Kearney would be available should Leinster make it to the Guinness PRO12 Final on 28th May, Cullen said he was hopeful the Louth man would be available to make a return.

The Guinness PRO12 semi-final against Ulster at the RDS Arena is SOLD OUT! The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, TG4 and BBC Northern Ireland (Friday, KO 7.45pm).

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