Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has moved to dampen expectations around Dan Leavy's long-awaited return to action this weekend.
The Leinster and Ireland flanker, who has been out of action since last March with a serious knee injury, is set to make a much-anticipated return after being named on the bench for the Blues' PRO14 clash against Zebre at the RDS on Friday (LIVE on eir sport 1 from 7.15pm).
However, Cullen is wary of people having unrealistic expectations and that it could take a while for the former St Michael's alumnus to find the kind of form that saw him take the club and international stage by storm.
"People need to be patient and have realistic expectations. It’s March of 2019 when he got the injury so we have to be realistic," he said.
"He is still a quality player with a big personality. He needs to find his rhythm. The last game he played was in front of 52,000 people in the Aviva and this is an RDS with no crowd, so it may feel like a training environment. So we’ll see how it goes.
"There has been the odd set-back. Hopefully he hits the pitch of it and hopefully he’ll go well. It’s great for everyone.
"We’ve had to wait a long while to get to this point but huge credit to him. As we saw at the time, it was a nasty injury, 18 months ago now.
"All the medical team, especially Karl Denver, worked so hard to get him back to this point. But he did the work so huge credit to him and hopefully he will get some action. It will be great to see him get some action and take another step.
"We don’t have a major plan for his future, we’ve a long turnaround to Glasgow on Monday week so we’ll just wait to see how everyone pulls through this week."
***See SIX LIVE PRO14 games this weekend including Leinster v Zebre (eir sport 1, Fri 7.15pm).