Wallace ready for the long road back

INJURED Munster and Ireland flanker Dave Wallace is in upbeat mood as he takes his first tentative steps on the road to recovery from a serious knee ligament injury.

INJURED Munster and Ireland flanker Dave Wallace is in upbeat mood as he takes his first tentative steps on the road to recovery from a serious knee ligament injury.

Wallace had surgery on the injury - which cost him a place in the Irish squad at the Rugby World Cup - at the end of last month and is expected to be sidelined for six months.

The 35-year-old suffered the injury to his right knee during the first half of Ireland’s 20-9 defeat to England in their final World Cup warm-up game at the end of last month.

Wallace explained: “I’m mobile now and driving this week for the first time. Once I’m driving I can get out of the house a bit more under my own steam. They gave me a machine, a continuous movement machine. It’s good for the joint to keep it moving and working on it. Pretty boring right enough but best for the knee.”

“In terms of physio stuff, it’s single squats, double leg squats, doing balancing passing balls, walking in the pool, bit of aqua jogging. It kinda varies from week to week but I’m almost walking properly on it now without crutches.

“I’ll probably have good days and bad days, so some days I’ll use them (crutches) and some days I mightn’t use them at all. I’m happy with the way it’s gone so far.”

Munster forwards coach Anthony Foley said Wallace would get every support possible from the province as he works his way back to fitness.

Foley said: “David (Wallace) will be well looked after. The physios are excellent here. Everyone will look after him to the best of their ability. David won’t get bored. It is just important that he gets that knee right and makes sure that when he comes back onto the pitch he is ready to go because as everyone saw there was a lot of emotion around him on the pitch when he went down. Everyone felt for him. He is a good guy, a good squad member.”

Meanwhile, the Munster squad assembles in Cork later today for their final session before departing to Cardiff on Thursday.

As expected, both Danny Barnes and Ian Nagle have been declared fit and have been included in the Munster squad. The starting XV and replacement will be named at noon tomorrow.

Munster Squad v Cardiff Blues: Johne Murphy, Scott Deasy, Doug Howlett, Simon Zebo, Tom Gleeson, Danny Barnes, Lifeimi Mafi, Denis Hurley, Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams, Peter Stringer, Marcus Horan, Stephen Archer, BJ Botha, Wian du Preez, John Hayes, Denis Fogarty, Mike Sherry, Dave Foley, Ian Nagle, Mick O’Driscoll, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony, Niall Ronan, James Coughlan, Tommy O’Donnell.