Ireland's 2019 Rugby World Cup preparations have been dogged by injuries to key personnel and when the Flo Gas cart pulled out of the bowels of the Aviva to collect Joey Carbery yesterday, things seemed very bad indeed. There's a sense that Carbery will be integral to any success Ireland will have at this World Cup, and that sense was bolstered by the first 40 minutes or so of watching Joey Carbery play rugby yesterday. When he suffered that injury to his ankle yesterday, it seemed, in a flash, that his World Cup was over.
The good news, so far, is that Carbery did not break a bone in his ankle. Joe Schmidt described the injury as an ankle strain in his postmatch interview on RTÉ.
"There's no fracture and that's a promising first sign. We're going to have to wait probably 48 hours to see whether he needs a scan, and if he does, we need to let the swelling go down.
"The swelling's not too bad so finger's crossed at this stage."
He spoke in more detail about the injury in his post-match press conference and sounded confident that Carbery will be on the plane to Japan. We'll know for sure by Tuesday.
"The good news with Joey is there is no fracture - it’s a bit puffy on the inside of his left ankle. He has a bit of swelling, so we will give that 24, 48 hours to let that go down and get it scanned again. If we don’t think it’s too bad he’ll rehab in Portugal ahead of the England game. If not England, hopefully Wales.
“It’s too soon to say (for sure), but I don’t think it’ll keep him out of the World Cup.
“We’ll forge ahead with the plan we have mapped out. We don’t get back together until Wednesday so it gives us a bit more time to have clarity about Joey, so we may adjust our plans.
“We know we have to hit the ground running against Scotland so we know we can’t afford to have anyone underdone for that game.”
Ireland's next World Cup warm-up will take place in two weeks time against England in Twickenham. Schmidt said Johnny Sexton is on track to start that match as Ireland's out half.