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Sean O'Brien Could Miss The Six Nations After Surprise Hip Surgery

Sean O'Brien Could Miss The Six Nations After Surprise Hip Surgery

It was the last bit of news Leinster and Ireland fans would have wanted to hear today - Sean O'Brien has undergone surgery on his troublesome hip.

After missing the Christmas inter-pros with what described as "tightness in his hip", and we were even expecting him to be named in the Leinster team today for their Champions Cup clash with Glasgow on Sunday.

Instead, Leinster have confirmed that the flanker has had a set back in his rehabilitation from the injury and has had to undergo minor surgery, and will definitely miss their final Champions Cup pool games over the next two weeks.

The surgery almost certainly rules O'Brien out for Ireland's opening game of the Six Nations against France in Paris on February, and given the nature of the injury so far, it's unclear as to how long it will take for him to get back to full fitness, athough Leinster have said that the aim, at least, is for him to return at some point during the tournament.

Seán O'Brien saw a specialist this week for the tightness in his hip as it hadn't responded to treatment as we would have liked.

As a result he had a small procedure and the target is to have O'Brien back available during the 6 Nations window.

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O'Brien, who picked up an injury in the 3rd Lions test last summer, has missed a significant amount of time so far this season, playing in just four games for Leinster, although he did play for Ireland in the November internationals.

Ireland will host Wales in the Aviva Stadium in the third round of the Six Nations on February 24th, following the first rest week of the competition, and that will be most likely O'Brien's aim for a return.

It's not good news for Joe Schmidt, who already has backrow problems with Jamie Heaslip, Rhys Ruddock and Tommy O'Donnell all out with injuries. Josh Van der Flier will be the likely candidate to takes O'Brien's number 7 jersey.

Leinster will name their team for the Glasgow game later this afternoon, with Leo Cullen expected to speak to the press with more details about O'Brien's situation.

Michael McCarthy

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