Ian McKinley looks set to make an emotional return to the PRO12 for Zebre against the Scarlets on Sunday.
It has been four years since Ian McKinley last made a top level rugby appearance but he has been named on the bench for the Italians in a game that could be a momentous one.
So after a long 4 year absence, I will be back in the pro12.I may look slightly different than the last time but I'm still the same
— Ian McKinley (@ianmck7) October 2, 2015
The former Leinster out-half was forced to retire in 2011 after losing sight in his left eye when he was hit by a stray boot from a teammate in an AIL game between UCD and Lansdowne. Since then McKinley has been coaching in Italy until the development of protective goggles (that got the okay from World Rugby) allowed him to return the sport that he loves.
McKinley returned to rugby with Italian third division side Leonorso last year before signing professional terms with Viadana, one of the biggest sides in the Italian league.
McKinley, a product of St. Columbas's college in Dublin, was called up to the Zebre squad as the Italian side are without several players due to injuries and World Cup commitments. Because of his previous eye injuries he has to wear special rugby goggles (pictured above) just to be able to play on Saturday.