Munster expect World Cup winner Damian de Allende to be fit and available for the resumption of the Guinness PRO14 campaign in late August.
The South African centre, who joined from Japanese club Panasonic Wild Knights earlier this summer, has not trained fully with his new team-mates yet after carrying a groin injury but in Monday’s latest squad update, the province said they did expect De Allende to prove his fitness in ample time to face Leinster in the first of two planned PRO14 derbies on the weekends of August 22-23 and August 29-30.
Munster on Monday began the fourth and final week of their first training block since being allowed back into their High Performance Centre at the University of Limerick following the shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Johann van Graan’s squad will be given nine days off away from the HPC from this Friday before returning to training for the final block before the Aviva Stadium interpros.
When they do return, the province expects to reintegrate lock Tadhg Beirne, wing Keith Earls (calf), Calvin Nash (calf), tighthead prop John Ryan, and loosehead Dave Kilcoyne (calf) to squad training. Beirne has been rehabbing an ankle injury sustained in Heineken Champions Cup action at Saracens last December 14 while Ryan underwent a minor shoulder procedure during lockdown. Kilcoyne sustained his injury in the first training period but all five are in line to join the wider training group, Munster said.
Another to pick up an injury since the return to training is full-back Mike Haley, who suffered a calf injury and has begun his rehabilitation, while centre Dan Goggin is to undergo a scan this week on a leg injury, and back-row Gavin Coombes is out with a non-Covid-related illness.
With fly-half Joey Carbery (wrist/ankle) also continuing his rehab programme, Van Graan has called Munster academy and Ireland Under-20 duo Jack Crowley (fly-half) and Josh Wycherley (prop) to train with the senior squad alongside fellow academy players Thomas Ahern (lock), Jake Flannery (fly-half/full-back), James French (prop), and Ben Healy (fly-half).
The Munster squad is continuing to train in three separate groups and operating under a one-way system at the HPC to ensure that they do not interact with one another. The hope is to receive a green light from government to resume contact training by their July 27 return.