Dave Kearney suffers fresh injury blow before European semi-final

Dave Kearney comes off injured
Dave Kearney had to be helped off the pitch early in the second half in Galway

Leinster wing Dave Kearney has suffered a fresh injury blow as his side prepare to face Clermont Auvergne in Sunday's Champions Cup semi-final in Lyon.

Kearney, who had only recently returned from injury, will miss the encounter with an ankle injury sustained in Saturday's Pro12 victory over Connacht.

The 27-year-old is due to have further scans later this week to assess the full extent of the damage.

Kearney has missed much of the season because of toe and ankle problems.

The Ireland international received oxygen as he left the pitch after 47 minutes of the match at the Sportsground.

Kearney is Leinster's only fresh injury concern, although Jamie Heaslip, Rob Kearney and Jordi Murphy are all set to remain sidelined for the clash with the French giants.

The Irish province rested all but three of their starting line-up from the quarter-final win over Wasps as they secured a home Pro12 semi-final by defeating Connacht.

Clermont rested 10 of the starting team which saw off Toulon in the last eight in Europe for their 59-18 Top 14 triumph over Grenoble at the weekend.

Meanwhile Leinster have confirmed that lock Mike McCarthy, who has been capped 19 times by Ireland, will miss the rest of the season with back and elbow problems.

The 36-year-old had surgery in recent days on a disc injury in his back and although recovering well, will not be back in time for the end of season run-in.

The news means that the 19-times capped Ireland international has played his last game for the province, who confirmed last month that the second row would be joining RC Narbonne of France at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

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