Cian Healy: I'll be fit for the Rugby World Cup
Cian Healy has handed Ireland coach Joe Schmidt a major fitness boost ahead of the World Cup.
The loosehead prop underwent neck surgery to replace a disc two weeks ago and doubts had emerged over his participation in September's World Cup, but the 27-year-old is confident that he will be fit enough to return to action by the end of July.
Ireland play the first of four warm-up games against Wales on August 8 and Healy is hopeful of featuring at the Millennium Stadium. He suffered the initial injury during Leinster's Champions Cup win over Bath in April but it wasn't until a month later that it came to the fore.
"I'm feeling pretty good. The muscles and all that around the neck are all much better," Healy said. "I've already started rehab work and body weight work. It's depressing but it's working towards being able to do a push-up. We got to that stage yesterday and now it's starting to move on again.
"I was saying to them (management staff) that I wasn't going to go into it (surgery) if it was going to cut me out of a World Cup. I was sat down and told everything, and that all going well, I'll be ready by the end of July to be hitting scrums and full tackles."
Healy has had a luckless two-year run of injuries - he required surgery on both of his ankles as well as his hamstring last September.
But he revealed that the latest surgery had gone better than expected, and he doesn't anticipate any long-term effects.
"I could have tipped along but it was getting worse and worse and if I kept on it to the end of the season it could have flared up and I could have missed the World Cup," he said. "He (surgeon) said he got it cleaned out easier than he expected to. I'm just waiting to feel like it's back to normal.
"I'm building up prevention for it now to make sure it does not happen again. There's going to be something going wrong for me to not make the World Cup. From now there's not much that can go wrong. The surgery was successful."