"Too soon to say, but I don’t think it’ll keep Joey Carbery out of the World Cup"
The next few days and weeks will see many of us rugby fans becoming experts on ankle injuries and rehab procedures.
Ireland knew that they were unlikely to get through their four World Cup warm-up games without picking up any casualties. They would have ben left cursing, all the same, when Joey Carbery was brought from the field of play on a motorised stretcher.
Carbery contributed nine points (one try, two conversions) in Ireland's 29-10 victory over Italy, at the Aviva Stadium, but lost Carbery and Rob Herring to injury.
Herring's back flared up early in the day and he left the field after only 16 minutes, replaced by Niall Scannell. Ireland found themselves 10-7 behind but got a hold of the game and were leading 24-10 when Carbery picked up his injury at a defensive ruck in Ireland's 22.
Following his side's 19-point win, Joe Schmidt spoke with RTE about Herring and Carbery. He commented:
"Rob Herring had a bit of a back spasm, a bit of a back strain. It isn’t anything too major, not of massive concern to medical team.
"With Joey, I can say there is no fracture because we’ve had him x-rayed in there. He has a bit of swelling, so we will let that go down and get it scanned. If we don’t think it’s too bad he’ll rehab in Portugal ahead of the England game. If not England, hopefully Wales.
"It’s too soon to say, but I don’t think it’ll keep him out of the World Cup."
In his post-game press briefing, Schmidt said, "The good news [on Carbery] is there is no fracture. It’s a bit puffy on the left side of his ankle. We have to give it 24, 48 hours to let the swelling go down."
Although there is no fracture to Carbery's ankle, further scans are likely to show up some sort of ligament damage.
Ireland do not play again until August 24, against England at Twickenham. Carbery is unlikely to feature in that game and may not play against Wales the following week. It is early stages, yet, but his most likely target will be the Wales game in Dublin on September 7.
Just six weeks to go to the start of the World Cup and Ireland are already worrying over a key player.