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Page last updated at 08:03 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Ospreys hit by Byrne injury blow

Lee Byrne
Lee Byrne hopes to be part of the Lions' summer tour to South Africa

Ospreys full-back Lee Byrne faces a race to be fit for their Heineken Cup quarter-final with champions Munster on Sunday, 12 April.

The 28-year-old hobbled off in the 30th minute of Wales' 17-15 loss to Ireland on Saturday at the Millennium Stadium.

A scan showed inflammation of a tendon in his left foot but coach Sean Holley is hopeful Byrne can return in time.

"Hopefully with some rest and treatment, he can make it for the quarter-final," said Holley.

"But at this point it is not certain yet.

"We won't know too much until the experts have a good look at that, but it's clear he won't be available for this week or the week after.

"We have to make do without Lee for the next two weeks at least."

That means Byrne misses out on Saturday's EDF Cup semi-final against Gloucester and the Magners League game in Ulster six days later.

Gavin Henson switched from inside centre to full-back to fill in for the injured Byrne for Wales against Ireland.


And Henson may be in line to do the same for his region against Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

Young utility back Gareth Owen or wing Jonny Vaughton could also take the number 15 shirt.

Wales hooker Richie Hibbard, who has an ankle ligament injury, is also facing a race against time to be fit for the Ospreys' Heineken Cup showdown at Thomond Park.

The Welsh region, though, will definitely be without long-term injury victims lock Ian Evans, prop Duncan Jones and Scottish wing Nikki Walker.

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see also
Gloucester v Ospreys (Sat)
24 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales 15-17 Ireland
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union

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