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Munster misery as Carbery's injury return is delayed

 

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Joey Carbery

Joey Carbery

�INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Joey Carbery

Spare a thought for Joey Carbery, who must have felt that rugby's enforced break would provide him with enough time to get his body right and be ready to return along with the rest of his Munster team-mates.

However, in keeping with Carbery's frustrations since moving to Limerick two years ago, those plans have been shelved, as the talented out-half is set to miss at least the first two games of the PRO14 resumption in August.

Having undergone ankle and wrist surgeries, Munster had initially hoped that their key playmaker would have recovered in time to partake in a full pre-season.

Although that was before Covid-19, the healing process has not been as swift as the medics predicted, and Carbery has now been ruled out until September.

It's becoming an increasingly familiar tale of woe and this latest setback means the 24-year-old will definitely miss the first game back against his former team Leinster, which is scheduled for the Aviva Stadium on August 22, while Carbery will also be unavailable for the Connacht clash at the same venue a week later.

Such was the severity of the ankle injury picked up in the World Cup warm-up win over Italy last August, Carbery has only played two games for Munster this season, the last on January 3.

Assuming Munster make it to the PRO14 semi-final, Johann van Graan may face a huge dilemma about whether or not to parachute Carbery back into the team.

With the stakes so high, the head coach may well be tempted to ease Carbery back at a later stage, thus putting his potential return on hold even longer.

Van Graan is hoping to welcome back Tadhg Beirne from his dislocated ankle, which he suffered last December.

New signing Damian de Allende is carrying an injury, as are wingers Keith Earls and Calvin Nash, but like Beirne, Munster are optimistic they will be fit in time for the Leinster game.

John Ryan is facing a spell out, though, after shoulder surgery.

CJ Stander and Chris Cloete were also absent from training yesterday. Both players have just returned from South Africa and will self-isolate for 14 days.

The Munster Academy, as per the IRFU's 'Return to Rugby' roadmap, are not due back for a few weeks, but Ireland U20 stars Thomas Ahern, Jake Flannery, James French and Ben Healy were all involved in the limited first day of training.

Belfast Telegraph