O'Leary injury blow for Exiles

London Irish have announced that scrum-half Tomas O'Leary has been ruled out for four to six months after undergoing lower back surgery.

O'Leary joined Irish from Munster before the start of the season and made an instant impact combining with fly-half Ian Humphreys, but has not played since the Aviva Premiership defeat to Harlequins at the end of October.

The Exiles are currently 11th in the Premiership table, only six points clear of bottom club Sale Sharks, with scrum-halves Darren Allinson and academy product Jack Moates their two remaining options.

"London Irish scrum half Tom?O'Leary underwent a surgical procedure on his lower back last Tuesday (4th December) for a degenerative pre-existing injury that has deteriorated this season," said a club statement.

"Tom?has been unavailable for selection since his last appearance for London Irish against Harlequins at Madejski Stadium 28 October. He now faces four to six months lay-off."

Irish later added more details about the nature of O'Leary's injury.

They said in a statement: "Tomas originally suffered an injury to his lower back in the Aviva Premiership match with Northampton Saints on October 6th and aggravated it during the first half of the Aviva Premiership match with Harlequins on 28th October.

"Following further medical examination the decision was taken that surgery was necessary to solve this problem.

"Tomas underwent surgery on 4th December. Given the serious nature of the injury and subsequent surgery, Tomas is not expected to be available for selection until April 2013 at the earliest."