O’Mahony and Coughlan cleared for French test

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony and No8 James Coughlan were both cleared to face Perpignan on Sunday but the province will have to do without injured hooker Mike Sherry.

O’Mahony and Coughlan have been passed fit for the Heineken Cup clash with the Pool 6 leaders from France but Sherry faces a spell out after a scan on Monday night revealed he suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in his left knee during Munster’s win at Dragons on Friday night.

The 25-year-old Garryowen forward must see a specialist tomorrow, who will determine the full extent of the injury.

Sherry's absence will see the path clear for Damien Varley to return to the starting line-up while bench cover would mean a potential competitive debut for Duncan Casey or possibly Niall Scannell, both as yet untried even in the RaboDirect Pro12.

Coughlan saw a specialist on Monday as a precaution having been poked in the eye during the league tie with Dragons and returns to full training today. Also due back in training are fellow back rower O’Mahony, who received a dead leg during Ireland’s epic encounter with New Zealand, and lock Dave Foley, who has recovered from a hamstring injury suffered against Cardiff 11 days ago.

Munster coach Rob Penney received further good news regarding longer-term casualties Donnacha Ryan and Tommy O’Donnell after learning both forwards can step up their recoveries from knee injuries.

Paddy Butler is also set to resume training following surgery on his right thumb, fractured in the Heineken Cup opener against Edinburgh on October 12. Also injured that day at Murrayfield was wing Simon Zebo, who will meet a specialist next week for a progress report on the broken bone in his foot.

A fortnight ago, Penney reported that Zebo was recovering nicely from the surgery on his metatarsal and was probably a month to six weeks away from a return. The visit to the specialist next week is expected to give Zebo a date to return to training. Of Munster’s other players on the injury list, South African wing Gerhard van den Heever must also see a specialist, tomorrow, after he sustained a broken bone in his right hand on his debut at the Dragons while openside flanker Niall Ronan is expected to resume training in two to three weeks after a specialist looked at his sprained knee on Monday.

Meanwhile, Munster yesterday announced all category A tickets for Sunday’s game had been sold out with 22,000 tickets bought in total. There are 200 Category B tickets still on sale at €40 each as well as terrace tickets.


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