Irish Rugby
Ireland and Leinster sweat on Kearney
ESPN Staff
October 3, 2012
Rob Kearney of Ireland warms up during Ireland's captain's run. New Zealand v Ireland, Eden Park, Auckland, June 8, 2012.
Rob Kearney could miss Ireland's November Tests © Getty Images
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Ireland and Leinster face an anxious wait over the fitness of Rob Kearney with the fullback facing a potentially lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Kearney is suffering from a back injury that could keep him out of action for up to six weeks. If Leinster and Ireland's worst fears are confirmed, then Kearney is likely to miss his province's first two matches in this season's Heineken Cup along with some of the November Tests.

Ireland kick-off their autumn Test series with a match against South Africa on November 10 and Ireland boss Declan Kidney will hope to have Kearney - who is regarded as one of the best fullbacks in the northern hemisphere - available.

"There's no major damage with Rob," Leinster boss Joe Schmidt explained to the Irish Independent. "He's very uncomfortable. There's quite a bad haematoma there, with that bad blood being a real irritant, and hopefully as that drains away he should come right quite quickly. He won't be available for Munster but maybe beyond that we'd cross our fingers."

But in better news for Kidney, 2009 British & Irish Lions captain Paul O'Connell is set to make his long awaited comeback from injury against Leinster on Saturday. He has been sidelined since May and is hopeful of making the bench for the all-Irish affair.

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