Munster injury worries mount but Earls eyes return

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Munster's Simon Zebo, Kevin O'Byrne and Paul O'Connell pictured during squad training session at UL this week ahead of their Guinness PRO12 clash with Glasgow at Scotstoun, Saturday, 2.40pm
MUNSTER have been hit with a series of injury blows to Dave Kilcoyne, Gerhard van den Heever, James Cronin, Mike Sherry and Jonny Holland ahead of their hectic Christmas schedule of Guinness PRO12 fixtures.

MUNSTER have been hit with a series of injury blows to Dave Kilcoyne, Gerhard van den Heever, James Cronin, Mike Sherry and Jonny Holland ahead of their hectic Christmas schedule of Guinness PRO12 fixtures.

However, in a rare positive story on the injury front for coach Anthony Foley, Munster remain hopeful that winger Keith Earls may well be fit to return in time for the crucial European Champions Cup ties with Saracens and Sale Sharks

Munster are currently preparing for Saturday’s top-of-the-table Guinness PRO12 clash with Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun, 2.40pm.

Munster have confirmed that winger Gerhard van den Heever is set for a spell on the sidelines as he suffered cruciate ligament damage to his right knee in Munster’s home Champions Cup tie with Clermont. It is expected that the winger will undergo surgery at the end of the month.

It has also been confirmed that prop Dave Kilcoyne is likely to be out for six to eight weeks as he rehabs the knee injury he sustained during the same Thomond Park encounter.

Hooker Mike Sherry, who has been rehabbing a shoulder injury, underwent a third shoulder operation on Monday in London. In August the hooker underwent a second shoulder stabilisation and despite an intensive four month period of rehabilitation the Limerickman experienced persistent symptoms that prevented him from progressing through the relevant phases of his return to play protocol.

Munster look set to be without prop James Cronin for three to four weeks with a shoulder injury.

Centre Andrew Smith had a scan on a knee injury sustained against Clermont on Sunday and is awaiting the results.

Munster hope Keith Earls will have recovered from a knee injury in time to face Zebre in the PRO12 next month and so play some part in the round five and six European Champions Cup games.

Second row Donnacha Ryan is reported to be ‘going quite well’ as he recovers from a foot injury with Walsh adding that the Shannon clubman is ‘hitting all the milestones as he recovers’. However, no date has been revealed for Ryan’s return.