Ireland’s forwards coach Simon Easterby is refusing to rule out British & Irish Lions No.8 Jamie Heaslip from recovering in time in face Wales at the Millennium Stadium next Saturday.
Three fractured vertebrae, sustained against France last month, forced Heaslip – who has five Test caps for the Lions – to miss Ireland’s victory over England last weekend.
However, after seeing Heaslip return to training Easterby is not prepared to completely rule the 31-year-old out of next week’s match-up.
"Jamie took part in training quite a bit, which is great in terms of his rehab," Easterby told Wales Online.
"He's at a stage where we feel really comfortable with it so he will hopefully come into next week ready to go.
"He was running around and taking a part in all that side of things. That's the progression he has had over this week.
"He won't take any contact yet but if he reacts positively next week then there's no reason why he can't be available for Wales.”
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