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Published: 15:19 | 29/8/16

Henshaw and O'Brien making progress

Leo Cullen is hopeful that Robbie Henshaw and Sean O'Brien will be fit for the start of Leinster's Champions Cup campaign against Castres Olympique.

Henshaw suffered a knee ligament tear while on Ireland duty against South Africa on June 25, and flew home ahead of the third Test decider to undergo surgery.

The former Connacht centre will miss the start of the Guinness PRO12 campaign but he could be back in time to make his debut ahead of the Champions Cup tie at the RDS on October 15.

O'Brien, meanwhile, has not played since he was injured just 20 minutes into Ireland's RBS Six Nations defeat to France in February.

He suffered a serious setback in his recovery in the latter stages of the season and was forced to undergo an operation which prevented him from featuring on the tour of South Africa.

Like Henshaw, the Leinster flanker is making good progress and could be available for the start of the European campaign.

"Robbie and Sean, post their surgeries - Robbie had his operation after the tour - they're making good progress. You're probably looking at six weeks with Robbie. Seanie had his surgery at the end of the last season. It was probably the most major of the surgeries out of the three of them. He's probably on a similar timeline to Robbie at the moment," Cullen explained.

"We'll see what's best for them. We're just making sure they get back correctly and we're not putting them at risk. They're making really good progress the two of them. You would hope to have them available, but if they're not right, they're not right."

Johnny Sexton missed the Ireland tour because of a shoulder injury but is closing in on a return with Cullen revealing he is a "couple of weeks away".

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