Van der Flier on course to make remarkable return for Pro14 semi-final

Van der Flier on course to make remarkable return for Pro14 semi-final

FOR THE SECOND time in the space of a year, Josh van der Flier is set to defy an initial medical prognosis and return to action ahead of schedule to hand Leinster’s two-pronged title bid a major boost.

The flanker was initially ruled out for the remainder of this season after undergoing surgery on the groin injury he sustained against France during the Six Nations, but van der Flier could now return for Leinster’s Pro14 semi-final against Munster.

Van der Flier speaking to media yesterday. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said the 26-year-old would not feature again this term ‘unless there is some magic cure between now and then’, and van der Flier has again shown remarkable diligence and work-ethic in his recovery.

Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup final against Saracens will come too soon for the openside but he will be back on the training paddock with the squad this week, with a view to being available for the visit of Munster to the RDS on Saturday 18 May.

Van der Flier’s unexpected return is a welcome fillip for the province, particularly with Dan Leavy ruled out indefinitely due to the horrific leg injury he sustained against Ulster. 

“I’ve a good bit of running under my belt now. If training goes well, hopefully, I’ll be available, that’s the goal,” he said. 

“I’ve just been hoping to be back training this week, and hopefully that goes well. I’ve been working with Fearghal Kerin and the medical staff at Leinster, they’ve been brilliant.

Van der Flier, who got back from a long-term knee injury to start Ireland’s win over the All Blacks last November, added: “I was told it would be 12 weeks, don’t rush back, just see how you get on, then we can review if it goes well. I never let myself believe it would be the end of the season, but logically it looked more than likely, but I’m happy to be where I am.”

Stuart Lancaster confirmed van der Flier is on course to be in contention for Munster. 

“Having Josh back is the other bonus,” the Leinster senior coach said. “He’ll hopefully train this week with a view to play next week as well.

“He’s done brilliantly to get back from that groin injury and it’s a real boost for the squad.”

Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here:

Click Here: Ruben Dias Jersey Sale