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Leo Cullen clarifies James Ryan injury timeline in major boost to province

Leo Cullen

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has provided a postive update on James Ryan’s recovery from a shoulder injury.

Leo Cullen’s men returned to training at the end of June when Ryan sustained his injury. The province revealed on Monday that he is expected to be sidelined for 10-12 weeks.

However, speaking to media on Wednesday, Cullen revealed that Ryan is halfway through his recovery. He is expected to be fully fit for Ireland’s Six Nations clashes at the end of October.

“We were back for a block [of pre-season training] and he got injured in that first block and we took a break,” explained Cullen, an ambassador for AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity and Advocacy Organisation.

“He had a procedure straight away but he is well on his way, so I’m not sure exactly is he maybe five or six weeks in, I’d have to check that exactly… I think five.

“He is making really good progress, he is flying it. He’s running and lifting in the gym, so making good progress.”

Leo Cullen
Aviva and AsIAm support autistic children as they return to the classroom. Pictured is Leo Cullen, AsIAmAmbassador with Catalina Ryan (6, Terenure)

Leo Cullen provides Adam Byrne update

By that timeline, Ryan could return in time to feature for Leinster’s Champions Cup quarter-final clash with Saracens. However, missing from that clash will be winger Adam Byrne who will undergo surgery on his hamstring this week.

“Adam picked up that injury initially when we were in the lockdown period.

“When you are not having that physical contact, you are not sure what people are doing in terms of the programme.

Adam Byrne

“With technology and GPS, we can track guys, but we don’t have eyes on them all the time. It can be a bit more of a challenge to manage the load. He is going to have a procedure done on his hamstring. Because he hasn’t been done straight away, his clock is starting a little later than James, who is really on his way.”

Leo Cullen on Dan Leavy’s return

Leinster fans were revealed to see pictures of back-rower Dan Leavy back on the training pitch this week.

The 25-year-old suffered a knee ligament injury against Ulster during last season’s Champions Cup. While they are delighted to have him back, Cullen will not be rushing Leavy into action.

Leo Cullen

“Dan’s work incredibly hard to get back. There was a huge amount of work from our backroom team to get him in that shape. We’re dying to see him back playing at this stage.

“But we’ve to take baby steps, so we’re not setting him up to fail when he does come back. We’ll be patient with Dan.

“He’s worked incredibly hard to get back to this point. He’s back training, back with the lads on the field. We’ll see how he goes in the next few weeks when we start to ramp that up.”

Leinster return to action on Saturday, 22 August (KO 7.35pm), against Munster Rugby at Aviva Stadium.

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at or on Twitter