Munster are expecting World Cup winner Damian de Allende to recover from a short-term injury in time to make his debut for the province when professional rugby returns to action in August but Joey Carbery will have to wait another month.
Johann van Graan’s squad returned to training in small groups at the High Performance Centre in Limerick on Monday after the province reported no positive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) results for the Covid-19 coronavirus during the first phase of testing for senior players and staff last week.
Munster also released a squad fitness update, reporting that South Africa centre De Allende, and wings Keith Earls and Calvin Nash, were all carrying unspecified short-term injuries while lock/back-row Tadhg Beirne was rehabbing well following his recovery from an ankle fracture he sustained against Saracens in December.
The quartet are expected to recover ahead of the scheduled restart for the Guinness PRO14 on August 22 when Munster play the first of two rounds of interprovincial fixtures ahead of the season-ending play-offs in September.
Head coach Van Graan will be hopeful his first-choice fly-half Carbery will be fit for the knockout rounds, should Munster hang on to their top-two position in Conference B to qualify. Carbery underwent wrist surgery in early January and is also rehabbing an ankle injury but the recovery process is going well, Munster said, and the Ireland star was expected to return to action in September.
Also on the injury front, tighthead prop John Ryan has undergone a minor shoulder operation and has begun his rehabilitation.
Munster’s complement of fit players were working in small pods with one designated coach at their University of Limerick training base with measures in place to ensure there will be no interaction with other groups. There are also strict hygiene measures regarding the use of gym equipment while no showers, dressing rooms, kitchens, or video analysis rooms are being used, players simply arriving at the HPC, training, and then going straight home.