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Cian Healy has suffered a serious ankle injury and will miss the remainder of the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia.
The Irishman sustained “significant ligament damage” in the Lions crushing 69-17 win over Western Force and will miss the three Tests against Australia as a result.
Healy had been facing a possible suspension but was cleared of biting Force scrum-half Brett Sheehan, but that will come as little consolation to the loose-head prop as he will miss the remainder of the tour regardless.
A scan on Friday revealed the extend of the damage, and Lions coach Warren Gatland has admitted Healy’s absence comes as a blow to his side.
“Firstly, our thoughts are with Cian,” said Gatland.
“It has been a day of mixed emotions for him after being quite rightly cleared of foul play but then the scan revealing the extent of the damage to his ankle. He has made a big contribution on and off the field in the last two weeks and we wish him well in his recovery.”
Fellow loose-head prop Gethin Jenkins has a calf problem but should be available for the first Test against Australia on June 22, despite missing the first two games of the tour.
The Lions have called up England’s Alex Corbisiero and Scotland’s Ryan Grant as cover due to the concerns over Jenkins, who will also miss the tie against Queensland Reds, and Healy’s absence.