"This is me, I'm cooked" - Jack Conan makes stark injury admission ahead of Scotland clash
"They've done an incredible amount of work with me."
Next Saturday, just over four weeks after the World Cup started in Paris, Jack Conan will hopefully make his tournament bow. The Leinster back row has admitted there were times when he felt it would never happen.
Back on August 5, Conan tore ligaments in his foot during a World Cup warm-up win over Italy. Some coaching staffs may have erred on the side of caution and selected Cian Prendergast or Gavin Coombes to travel to France. The spacing out of pool stage games may have helped Conan's cause as he was selected in the 33-man squad. Until now, he has been a spectator.
The fact that Conan was put up for press duty, this week, bodes well for his chances of being involved against Scotland, next Saturday. During his briefing, Conan made some stark comments about how dark it looked, for a while, after his injury.
Jack Conan desperate to face Scots
Speaking to the travelling media at the Irish camp, in Tours, Jack Conan laid out how close he felt he was to missing out on his second World Cup.
"Three or four weeks ago I thought I was going home. To be able to turn it around with the work of all the physios, the docs and stuff... they've done an incredible amount of work with me and I'm unbelievably grateful. I'm training away, feeling good and just ready to add my bit of value that I can."
"I tore a few ligaments in my foot back against Italy and it was just one of those things," he added, "on the day I wasn't able to push off it fully. Then, I was coming back from that and ended up over-compensating with other bones in my foot and got bone bruising."
In 2019, Conan played one pool match in the World Cup before a foot injury ended his participation. Jordi Murphy replaced him in the squad, as he flew home from Japan.
Conan says he had a running session on the Thursday [September 7] before Ireland's World Cup opener but had a significant set-back.
"Literally, two days after that [session] it capitulated to some degree and I went for scans," he said.
"I had flashbacks to sitting in some random Japanese hospital in the middle of nowhere with Ciaran [Dr Ciaran Cosgrave] four years ago, with Ciaran again, and I was saying 'Surely not? Doing it all again in the exact same spot?'
"Thankfully, this one's had a far better outcome. But there was definitely a stage where I thought, 'This is me, I'm cooked'."
During his chat with the media, Ireland assistant coach Simon Easterby confirmed 'it's all good' regarding Jack Conan and the other 32 players in the squad.
"Jack Conan is an important part of the squad," he said. "He is good around the group. At certain stages he has probably felt it might not come right, but he has worked hard with the conditioners, physios and nutritionists.
"He has done everything he can to get himself in this position. We have been fortunate with injuries in his position that we have not had to call upon him. A number of things have aligned to allow Jack to get right.
"We all felt it was the right thing to do to have him and give him the opportunity. We are starting to see the Jack that we'd have liked to have seen a few weeks ago, but injury has not allowed him to be in that place. He is in a good place and there's no reason why he won't be available next week."
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