Munster skipper Peter O’Mahony will be given “every opportunity” to pass fit for this Saturday’s crunch Heineken Champions Cup pool showdown with Exeter Chiefs, head coach Johann van Graan said on Monday.
Ireland vice-captain O’Mahony suffered a rib cartilage injury during Munster’s 41-15 bonus-point win over Gloucester at Kingsholm last Friday night and was immediately rated a serious concern for this weekend’s sold-out Thomond Park Pool 2 shootout with the English Premiership leaders.
Munster lead the group by four points from Exeter heading into this Saturday evening’s final round with both teams eyeing progression to the quarter-final stages but will van Graan desperately wants the inspirational O’Mahony back on the field this weekend he will not jeopardise his captain’s long-term fitness.
"He's gone for a scan this morning. He's had some treatment over the weekend, with a bang to the ribs and rib cartilage you do have a lot of pain,” the Munster boss said.
“It's not something that just goes away. So we'll give him every opportunity to recover up to Saturday.
“Unfortunately, if you're a forward, it's not something you can hide, if you go to the breakdown, or steal a ball. I had a chat to him this morning, he's very open-minded about it.
“He'd love to play in this game, but his body has to work with it first. First and foremost, it's Pete's health that's most important so we'll make a decision on it later in the week.”
Munster have no other fitness issues following the victory at Gloucester with centre Chris Farrell successfully coming through 68 minutes of the game having been a pre-match doubt with a knee injury.
Should O’Mahony fail to recover in time, van Graan has options to fill the vacancy at blindside flanker with Tadhg Beirne, Tommy O’Donnell, Arno Botha and CJ Stander all being considered to fill in for their captain.