LEINSTER HAVE BEEN boosted by the news that Richardt Strauss’ heart surgery last week was a success, and the hooker is expected to make a full return to rugby in the future.
The Ireland international was ruled out for the season when it was announced that he had been made aware of a heart condition following medical examinations. There had been some doubt as to whether Strauss would return for the province, but the outlook is now positive.
Speaking at UCD this afternoon, team manager Guy Easterby confirmed that the hooker’s surgery had gone smoothly.
The good news is that Richardt Strauss had his operation a few days ago, a week ago today. That was a success and he has a recovery time now. They [the doctors] are confident that everything went well and that he will be back playing sometime in the future. They are generally not sure [about a return date].
“It is months rather than weeks because of some of the recovery he has to go through. We are told he will have no issue at all playing again, that is fantastic. You can never say 100% but it is 99.9%. We won’t be rushing him, put it that way. You have to trust medical opinion on this.
“If the doctors feel he is good to go, Straussy is. He is going to be keen to get back on that pitch because he is going to spend a lot of time in that gym otherwise, a lot of running around, not really Straussy’s favourite thing, so hopefully he will be back sooner rather than later.”
Leinster team manager Guy Easterby welcomed the good news on Strauss. ©INPHO/Donall Farmer.
Leinster have no fresh injury concerns arising from the victory over Castres in the Heineken Cup on Saturday, but doubt remains over whether or not Brian O’Driscoll will return from a calf injury for this weekend’s Pro12 clash against Connacht.
“Brian is on a day-to-day at the moment. He is definitely making improvements as you would expect, but it generally is just a day-to-day evaluation of where he is at.”
Easterby says tight head prop Mike Ross is being assessed on a similar basis, but like O’Driscoll has returned to light training and hopes to be involved on-field later in the week. Lote Tuqiri also continues to recover from a hamstring strain, but is still uncertain.
Shane Jennings has made a full recovery from his hand injury and comes back into the frame for selection against Connacht. Meanwhile, centre Andrew Goodman’s rehab has been stepped up and he is expected back in the “next few weeks”, having been injured since the summer.
O’Driscoll’s ongoing struggle with that calf problem will cause worry for Joe Schmidt and Ireland fans who are hoping to see the legendary centre involved in the upcoming November internationals. However, Easterby says he is optimistic that O’Driscoll will be available.
“Obviously he has a calf injury and you have to be careful with those. You certainly don’t want to re-do the injury. So you wouldn’t want to be pushing him back too early. Brian knows his body better than anyone.
“He is a veteran athlete in terms of his age but he has got a fantastic feel for his own body. He is excellent at managing himself and he certainly won’t be putting himself under any risk, but I don’t think there will be any issue at all from what I am gathering for the Autumn games.”