Sean O'Brien could be set to return to the Leinster line-up as the province confirmed he will return to training this week. 

The flanker suffered a shoulder injury in a comeback game last February and, save for a 40-minute run against Treviso in April, has not played since. 

He endured a personally frustrating year, watching from the sidelines as Ireland won the Grand Slam and Leinster completed an unprecedented Champions Cup and Pro 14 double. 

But he is nearing fitness and is deemed a possible starter against Connacht this weekend. 

Speaking to RTÉ last month, O'Brien was upbeat about his return and said patience had been a key virtue during his absence. 

"You just have to get on with it and when you get setbacks you work on other bits and piece, so that’s what I try to do and be positive around that," he said.

"In the last year I’ve gotten exceptionally patient and it’s helped me in everyday life as well. 

"The last five or six months every day I’ve been trying to get little gains here and there.

"It was just unfortunate the way it happened. 

"It was a hip injury that had me out for a month or so but then when I came back I done my shoulder so the hip was fine but the shoulder went.

"From a rehab point of view we ticked all the boxes and done everything right."

Elsewhere on the injury front, James Ryan and Dan Leavy picked up concussions against Edinburgh at the weekend and are following the return to play protocols. 

Both scrum half Niall McCarthy and fly half Ciaran Frawley return from wrist and forearm injuries respectively.