O'Brien set to boost Ireland
Sean O'Brien is set to return for Ireland's final Six Nations clash with England on Saturday despite spending last week in hospital.
Last Updated: 12/03/12 8:02pm
Sean O'Brien is set to return for Ireland's final RBS Six Nations clash with England on Saturday despite spending last week in hospital.
The reigning European player of the year picked up a foot infection which ruled him out of the 32-14 victory over Scotland at the weekend, with Peter O'Mahony deputising at openside flanker.
The infection required antibiotics to heal and O'Brien has lost weight, but team manager Mick Kearney believes he will be available for selection for the Twickenham clash - Ireland will name their team on Wednesday lunchtime.
Kearney said: "Sean was in hospital from Monday right through to the weekend and he's lost a couple of kilos, but he's in good form.
"If he's training today that is obviously a very good sign. The infection has cleared up so he's not on antibiotics.
"We're pretty sure that he'll be available for selection."
Captain Rory Best (ribs) and lock Donnacha Ryan (shoulder) will play a limited role in training this week and their fitness will also be monitored carefully.
"All the players are a bit sore. There was a light run out this afternoon and we'll build it up over the course of week," added Kearney.
"Most will take a full part in training except Donnacha, Rory and Sean who will be more curtailed, but we expected them to be involved."
The England game completes a run of four Six Nations matches in 22 days, a schedule made necessary by last month's postponed game against France. Kearney admits the number of fixtures has taken its toll.
"It's tough but we've been dealt those cards and we must manage them as best we can," he said.
"If we'd had that weeks' break it would have made it easier, but getting that win on Saturday has been hugely helpful in terms of the guys' form.
"We'll give it our best shot on Saturday."