LEINSTER HAVE BEEN rocked by the news that hooker Richardt Strauss has been diagnosed with a heart condition and will be out of the game for the rest of the season.
Speaking at Leinster training in UCD this afternoon, Leinster coach Matt O’Connor revealed that the Ireland international was feeling positive about making a full recovery from the problem.
Strauss was absent from Leinster’s defeat to Munster in Limerick on Saturday evening, and it has now become clear exactly why. Exploratory medical tests revealed the defect in the 27-year-old’s heart and he now faces surgery.
“He’s in a really good place, he’s in a good frame of mind. It’s disappointing for us in the short-term but his health is a lot more important,” O’Connor told TheScore.ie.
Strauss is now set to be operated upon, with Leinster promising to do their utmost to aid his full recovery. O’Connor said:
“It’s a very minor procedure, if there’s such a thing in relation to your heart. But he’s really confident and the rest of us are really confident that he will make a full recovery.
“It’s just sort of working out, together with the anti-clotting medication, the appropriate time frame which they haven’t given us in concrete at this point. It’s probably less of an issue for us relative to getting the guy back in a healthy state.”
However, an updated statement from Leinster Rugby reveals that the hooker will be unavailable for selection for the rest of the current season.
Pretoria-born Strauss arrived at Leinster in 2009 and has gone on to make himself a crucial component of the province’s success. He has also won four caps for his adopted country.
Meanwhile, O’Connor has announced that Lote Tuqiri will be out for “a couple of weeks” after straining his hamstring in the loss to Munster on Saturday.
Brian O’Driscoll is considered 50/50 to return for this weekend’s Heineken Cup opener away to the Ospreys, while new fullback Zane Kirchner also comes into contention having arrived from South Africa.