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Ireland lose Sexton, McCarthy to injury

14 February 2013 19:13

Ireland have suffered another blow ahead of their Six Nations match against Scotland, with Jonathan Sexton and Mike McCarthy ruled out.

Just a day after Cian Healy was handed a two-game ban for stamping on England's Dan Cole, Ireland team manager Mick Kearney has revealed fly-half Sexton (hamstring) and second-rower McCarthy (medial ligament) will be unavailable for the match in Edinburgh on February 24.

Both injuries were sustained during Ireland's 12-6 defeat at the hands of England last week, with Kearney conceding Sexton's injury is the most worrying of the two.

"Jonny's scan revealed a grade-two hamstring injury," Kearney said on Thursday.

"Progress has been good so far but it's too early to say when he will return to play.

"Mike has hurt the medial ligament of his right knee.

"It's quite sore and he will be in a brace for two weeks.

"A further review will take place in two weeks."

But in some positive news for Ireland head coach Declan Kidney, four other players are expected to recover from injury issues in time for the game against Scotland.

Full-back Rob Kearney is 'fine', according to Kearney, having recovered from a knock he picked up on Sunday, while flanker Sean O'Brien, lock Donnacha Ryan and centre Brian O'Driscoll are also hopeful of playing.

"Brian had a recurrence of the soft-tissue injury in his good ankle," Kearney said.

"Scans revealed no structural damage and he will do non-contact training today.

"Donnacha Ryan suffered a lower-back muscle strain.

"Scans have excluded structural damage but he's quite sore and won't train this week.

"He'll be reassessed at the weekend and at this stage he has a good chance of being available against Scotland.

"Sean O'Brien has recovered well from his stiff neck and tight hamstring and will train today.

"Rob is fine. He had a slight dead leg but trained fully today."

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