Ireland hit by backs injury woe

Mon, 22 Nov 14:35:00 2010

Ireland's three-quarter resources may be tested to the limit for Argentina on Sunday after a host of injuries were sustained against New Zealand.

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An autumn-best performance against the All Blacks, who still emerged 38-18 winners, has come at some cost with Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney sustaining knee injuries.

The Leinster duo will be missing when the ever-physical Pumas arrive in Dublin and they could be joined on the sidelines by Brian O'Driscoll, Tommy Bowe and Gordon D'Arcy.

O'Driscoll is nursing a bruised shoulder while Bowe and D'Arcy have calf strains.

"All three will undergo rest and rehabilitation on their injuries but at this point have not been ruled out against Argentina," read a statement issued by Ireland.

It is a bitter blow for Fitzgerald, who made his Test return against South Africa at the start of the month following a year's absence because of a knee problem.

"Luke suffered a medial ligament injury to his left knee," read the statement.

"The damage is to the same knee that he injured last November, but this is a new injury and to a different part of the knee.

"Rob Kearney also injured his knee and has suffered cartilage damage.

"He will undergo exploratory surgery this week to further determine the extent of the injury and the period of recovery that he will need, but is certainly ruled out of the game against Argentina."

The conclusion of Rory Best's autumn was confirmed on Saturday night after he incurred a fractured cheekbone.

PA Sport

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