Jamie Heaslip really has Wolverine blood. Just four weeks ago, Pascal Pape's knee rendered Heaslip unable to bend down. The diagnosis was three cracked vertebrae. For mortals, this meant a recovery period of 6-8 weeks before returning to training. Heaslip's Six Nations was over, and his participation in Leinster's Champions Cup game was in doubt.
Jamie Heaslip is no mere mortal.
I could walk. I wasn't actually that bad. A lot of it was blown out of proportion.
It was obvious that Heaslip was in serious discomfort in the immediate aftermath of the French game. He didn't think much of it at the time, revealing that while it was "bloody sore", he heard Schmidt's voice in his ear screaming at him to get up and back in the defensive line to avoid giving away a penalty.
It was only when he tried to run the knock off that he knew he was in trouble. Lifting in a lineout, getting down into rucks and jumping on loose balls were too hard. He couldn't bend down.
Normally, I would dive on those scraps straight away. I, literally, couldn’t bend over. Thank God, Rory (Best) was there. He scooped in and cleaned it up. I turned around straight away and said: ‘right lads, I’m a liability here.’ I had to come off.
But the worst was yet to come. If he can't bend down in a game, how was he able to change after the game?
Probably one of my most embarrassing moments as a professional player was that I had to have the doctor put my boxers on.
That doesn't sound like things were blown out of proportion. His swift recovery is unbelievable. The following week he was already trotting about and back in training.
There's something in that blood of his.
Photo Credit Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile