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Johnny Sexton to undergo surgery on cheekbone | Ireland Six Nations doubt?

"Sexton suffered a cheekbone injury during the game against Connacht Rugby and will have a procedure today and will be further assessed then," Leinster Rugby statement on January 3, 2023; Surgery comes a month before Ireland's opening Six Nations clash vs Wales in Cardiff

1 January 2023; Jonathan Sexton of Leinster after the United Rugby Championship between Leinster and Connacht at RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Image: Johnny Sexton will undergo surgery for a cheekbone injury suffered on Sunday playing for Leinster (see injury to left side of face)

Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton will undergo surgery on Tuesday after suffering a cheekbone injury playing for Leinster vs Connacht on New Year's Day. 

Fly-half Sexton was hurt making an upright tackle on Connacht back-row Jarrad Butler during Leinster's United Rugby Championship victory in Dublin on Sunday.

The 37-year-old has been ruled out of next weekend's URC clash against the Ospreys - and could now be a doubt for the start of Ireland's Guinness Six Nations campaign.

"Sexton suffered a cheekbone injury during the game against Connacht Rugby and will have a procedure today and be further assessed then," Leinster said in a statement on Tuesday.

1 January 2023; Jarrad Butler of Connacht is tackled by Jonathan Sexton of Leinster during the United Rugby Championship between Leinster and Connacht at RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Image: The injury occurred when an upright Sexton tackle caused a head-on-head collision between himself and Connacht's Jarrad Butler

Ireland, the world-ranked No 1 team, visit Wales for their Six Nations opener on February 4, before welcoming France to Dublin in a potential title-defining match in Round 2 on February 11.

Sexton, who has won 109 caps, missed two of Ireland's three Autumn Nations Series Tests against Fiji (dead leg) and Australia (calf) in November this season because of injury.

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He also missed last year's Six Nations Round 2 clash vs France in Paris at the Stade de France due to a hamstring injury.

Johnny Sexton
Image: At 37 years of age, Sexton has missed a few Tests through injury in recent years

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