Six Nations Grand Slam hero Keith Earls has joined Munster’s ever-increasing injury list.
Earls returns to Limerick today and will see a consultant with regard to the damage to his knee that caused him to miss the dying minutes of Saturday’s win over England.
However, head coach Johann van Graan spoke to the player on Saturday night and reported today that there is grave concern about his availability in the near future.
So Earls joins several other leading players including Chris Farrell, Chris Cloete and Jaco Taute who may not see action against this year while it was also revealed today that yet another top Munster back, Tyler Bleyendaal, has undergone surgery on the neck damage that has confined him to a handful of appearances this season.
Bleyendaal will be out of action for another four months while scrum-half Duncan Williams suffered a nasty facial injury in training and has been ruled out for at least six to eight weeks.
And the injury list doesn’t stop there with van Graan also placing doubts about the immediate future concerning a whole host of others including Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton, Andrew Conway, Simon Zebo, Ronan O’Mahony and Jean Klein.
These setbacks could hardly have come at a worse time given that Munster will be coming off a poor display at the weekend when losing to Edinburgh when they take on Scarlets at Thomond Park on Saturday, followed by the European Champions Cup tie against Toulon a week later.