Ireland
Mike McCarthy, Sean O'Brien and Dave Kearney out of Six Nations
ESPN Staff
February 19, 2016
© Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Ireland's injury concerns have increased with the news that Mike McCarthy will likely miss the rest of the season due to a concussion sustained against France.

Sean O'Brien and Dave Kearney have also been ruled out of the Six Nations, but there was a better prognosis for Jonathan Sexton, who "rolled his ankle" during a public training session on Friday.

McCarthy left the Stade de France pitch on a stretcher and wearing a neck brace following a collision midway through Ireland's 10-9 defeat to France and has since been advised to focus on regaining his fitness for next season.

"Mike McCarthy has seen a specialist now and he's going to effectively re-condition himself, freshen himself up to kick-start next season now," Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said after the session at Mullingar RFC.

"That's the latest word. Maybe that's not the definitive word. I think just for him it's an opportunity to freshen himself up a little bit and that will give him a good entry point to next season."

O'Brien, who was sidelined for the opening 16-16 draw against Wales, and Kearney were also forced off in Paris, with hamstring and shoulder injuries respectively.

"Sean is likely to miss the rest of the Six Nations, as is Dave Kearney," Schmidt confirmed. "But we'll continue to monitor those guys and see how they go."

There had been some concern when Sexton limped out of the session, but Schmidt insisted that was merely a precautionary measure.

"He just rolled his ankle. He could have trained on. In the end we sent him to the side. He did all the initial stuff just in the unit split but most of what we were going to do was broken play work so we didn't really need him in there," he said.

"Johnny will be fit to train Monday. The problem with rolling your ankle is if you do train on it -- and you can train on it -- is that you just get more inflammation whereas the sooner you stop the inflammation, in 48 hours' time you are up and running so I wouldn't be concerned at all.

"When the medics came to me and said 'do you want him to keep working?' I said 'no, keep him out'."

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