Devin Toner progressing with knee injury ahead of World Cup
Ireland and Leinster second-row Devin Toner has said that he is progressing well ahead of the Rugby World Cup after a season blighted by injury.
Toner suffered a knee injury in the PRO14 semi-final win over Munster while he also suffered an ankle injury during the Six Nations.
It was a cruel run of injuries for the Meath lock but he feels like he's starting to progress well ahead of Ireland's Rugby World Cup campaign.
"The ankle happened in the Six Nations and they said there was 10 years of damage in it and that I needed to get it fixed up," Toner said at an Energia event where the company announced their new sponsorship of both the men’s and women’s All-Ireland league.
"It's never felt better now. Then the knee against Munster was just a freak thing, a popped up ball and I got twisted and stuff. It was annoying to miss the final. Hopefully that's the end of it now."
A broken ankle in 2010 was the only other serious injury of Toner's career and he added that a stint on the sidelines was actually refreshing and that the birth of his son Max has actually been a good distraction for him away from rugby.
"When I got injured, it was a bit of a rock and a hard place," said Toner.
"I did enjoy the time off but I didn't enjoy not playing; I didn't enjoy sitting and watching the rest of the Six Nations. I did enjoy the different schedule, I was just going in and doing rehab all day and I had the weekends off. It was a different day.
"It's these two things: I hated not playing but I didn't mind the change of schedule because it was a change to what I'd been used to.
"When you're younger, you've a lot more time on your hands to worry about everything; you have a lot more time to think about losses, to think about everything. When you've got a family, you can't. You've literally got more important things to do.
"It is a very big change in dynamic. Earlier on in my career, you're worrying about, 'Oh my God, am I going to get my contract renewed? Am I going to be able to get to that next level? Am I going to be able to get by that fella in my position?' There's a lot of things going on when you're a young player."
Toner joined Ireland camp last week but he has said that the group have yet to address the England or Wales losses since they have regathered in Carton House.
"We haven't yet. We haven't done individual games. I think the lads may have done it at the end of the Six Nations, I wasn't involved."We're doing individual bits of video on, not specific games, but on specific (incidents). We might go back to the Wales or England game, just on stuff we want to bring in on d or attack."