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Hansen foot injury not as bad as first feared while Saracens’ Vunipola has red card rescinded

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From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Hansen foot injury not as bad as first feared while Saracens’ Vunipola has red card rescinded Hansen foot injury not as bad as first feared while Saracens’ Vunipola has red card rescinded

By JOHN FALLON

Pete Wilkins and Ireland coach Andy Farrell have been given an early Christmas present with Mack Hansen set to make an almost immediate recovery from an ankle injury which troubled him during the World Cup and forced him to limp off in the opening half of his side’s Champions Cup clash against Bordeaux-Bègles last Friday night.

Connacht coach Wilkins confirmed that the injury is not as serious as initially feared, and that the Irish international will not require surgery on it. Indeed, Hansen has already returned to running, and his comeback is expected in the short rather than long term, with Friday week’s clash away to Ulster in the URC being targeted.

“He’s likely to be ruled out of this week,” revealed Wilkins. “But the prognosis is much more positive than we thought it might be on Saturday night. At this stage he has already started his rehab running, which is great.

“We could push him for the Saracens game, but I think with it being a recurrence of the foot injury that he had at the end of the World Cup, it is not something that we will take any chances with it for his sake and our sake.

“So I would expect him to be unavailable this week but the great news is that he has started that rehab running,” said Wilkins.

The Connacht coach said that surgery, or even scanning, was not required at this point and that the 25-years-old is already back on the pitch running.

“It is a similar part of the foot, a similar mechanism, so without scanning – obviously that gives you the full details – in terms of how he was presenting on Saturday night it looked to be a similar injury in a similar spot, but not as bad.

“The way he ran on Monday, and he did more rehab running [on Tuesday], we would hope he is on track for Ulster,” added Wilkins.

He said that the Irish team management have not been directly involved in the management of the injury, but that Farrell’s medical team were kept in the loop on this and all other injured international players.

Pictured: Mack Hansen is tackled by Bordeaux-Begles’ Matthieu Jalibert last Friday night. The foot injury the Connacht winger picked up in the game is not as bad as first feared. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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