BELEAGUERED Munster are expected to receive a much-needed boost next week with forwards Dave Foley and Dave O’Callaghan set to return to full training.
Munster, still reeling from their 21-point defeat to Connacht in the Guinness Pro12 on Saturday, have a real battle on their hands to qualify for next season’s European Champions Cup.
As things stand, seventh-placed Munster are missing out on Champions Cup qualification for next season.
Anthony Foley’s men have two games left to save their season, beginning with Friday week’s crucial Pro12 clash with sixth-placed Edinburgh at Musgrave Park, 7.35pm.
The return of experienced forwards Foley and O’Callaghan to training will bolster Munster’s pack options for those key remaining games with Edinburgh and Scarlets eight days later at Thomond Park.
Munster are ‘free’ this weekend as the two European Champions Cup semi-finals take centre stage.
Second-row Foley has recovered from an ankle ligament injury, while O’Callaghan is returning from a knee injury where he suffered bone bruising.
Meanwhile, Munster have confirmed that Donnacha Ryan sustained a concussion in Saturday's loss to Connacht in Galway and will continue to be monitored by Munster medical staff.
Out-half Johnny Holland also sustained a concussion in that game and is now following return to play protocols.
The seven Munster players who attended the 24-hour Ireland training camp on Sunday and Monday have now returned to the province.
On the contract front, prop Peter McCabe has signed a one year development contract extension. A pectoral tear saw the 24-year-old miss much of the competitive season.
Alex Wootton becomes the fifth player to graduate from the Greencore Munster Academy this season, alongside Rory Scannell, Sean McCarthy, David Johnston and John Madigan and the Garryowen utility back will remain at the province until at least June 2017.