Ireland's Cian Healy a doubt for Six Nations opener

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Cian Healy faces a race against time to be fit to start Ireland's RBS 6 Nations title defence after undergoing a minor knee operation.

The British and Irish Lions prop opted to go under the knife to coincide with a two-week suspension, and will now fight to be fit for Ireland's Six Nations opener against Wales on February 7.

Healy's fellow Leinster prop Mike Ross is expected to return in time for Ireland's Wales clash, but head coach Joe Schmidt will certainly want Healy on hand. "Cian Healy underwent a scope and clear-out of his right knee yesterday afternoon," Leinster confirmed in a club statement. "This was an elective procedure, and while we are still waiting for the report, it is expected that he will be out for three to four weeks."

Leinster confirmed that Ireland's linchpin fly-half Johnny Sexton has returned to full training and will be fit for Friday's Pro12 trip to the Ospreys.