Carbery could win fitness battle in time to face Scotland in World Cup opener
Joey Carbery is poised to complete an “incredible” recovery from ankle trouble in time for Ireland’s World Cup opener against Scotland.
Munster star Carbery suffered a nasty ankle ligament problem in Ireland’s opening World Cup warm-up clash, the 29-10 victory over Italy in Dublin on Saturday, August 10.
The 23-year-old could have been touch and go to make the tournament at all, but may now be ready to take on the Scots in Yokohama on September 22.
Head coach Joe Schmidt has revealed Carbery is expected to return to full training on Monday, while forwards coach Simon Easterby hailed the fly-half’s impressive job to get back to fitness so quickly.
“We were hugely disappointed for him when he went down against Italy, but he, and the medical and strength and conditioning staff have done an incredible job to get him to this point,” said Easterby.
“If there wasn’t the confidence within him and what the guys could do with him over the period from when he got injured he wouldn’t have travelled.
“And I think that was largely due to the confidence that he brought, but also the confidence that the strength and conditioning staff and the medics brought to the whole thing.
“There was plenty of discussion over it, because it was such an important decision to take, on someone coming with an injury.
“But I think he and the guys around him have worked incredibly hard to get to this stage.”
Robbie Henshaw remains Ireland’s chief doubt for their World Cup opener against Gregor Townsend’s Scotland, the result of which could well map out the rest of Pool A.
Leinster powerhouse Henshaw pulled up with a hamstring problem in training on Saturday, and now faces a nervous wait for the results of a scan.
Allied to the nearly fit-again Carbery, Ireland are also hoping for good news on flyer Keith Earls.
The Munster wing is battling to shake off a thigh complaint, and is likely to start against Scotland if fit.
“Joey Carbery has trained well on Saturday and will train fully with the team on Monday,” said Ireland boss Schmidt.
“Keith will either train Wednesday or Friday, so he’s close as well.
“So it just means that apart from Robbie we’re hopefully not too badly off.”