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Carbery a major doubt for Six Nations

Horrible luck: Joey Carbery has suffered a wrist injury
Horrible luck: Joey Carbery has suffered a wrist injury

By Cian Tracey

Joey Carbery's luckless run of injuries looks set to continue after the out-half suffered a wrist ligament injury in their defeat to Ulster at the weekend.

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Carbery will have surgery on the injury and will be out "for the immediate future", according to the province, which puts his Six Nations in real doubt.

Munster are now facing a major out-half crisis ahead of Sunday's crucial Champions Cup clash against Racing 92 in Paris, while Andy Farrell will also be sweating over Carbery's fitness as the new Ireland head coach also has mounting headaches in the No.10 position.

JJ Hanrahan is currently rehabbing a hamstring issue, while Tyler Bleyendaal remains sidelined with a neck injury, leaving Munster down to the bare bones.

Hanrahan is expected to be given every chance to prove his fitness before this weekend, with Academy out-half Ben Healy on standby, as well as Rory Scannell providing an alternative option.

Since joining Munster in 2018, Carbery has been hampered with setbacks and the latest comes as a particularly cruel blow.

The 24-year-old had only just returned from an ankle issue against Leinster two weeks ago as he made his first appearance of the season, before following it up with a first start against Ulster last weekend.

He previously broke his left arm playing for Ireland against Fiji in 2017, but it is unclear if this injury is to the same arm.

The news comes on the back of Leinster confirming Johnny Sexton will not feature for them in either of their next two games, meaning he is still in a race to be fit for the Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 1.

Although the out-half will step up his recovery this week, Stuart Lancaster ruled out any hope of a return over the next fortnight.

"He's making good progress, but that would be a tremendous turnaround from an MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) injury," Leinster's senior coach said when asked if Sexton might be back for the Benetton encounter.

"It's not an injury that you suddenly go from being not injured to fit again in two or three weeks. That's not to say that he is a long way away from playing."

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