THE uncertainty around Paul O’Connell aside, Munster received some positive news on the injury front yesterday.
Denis Leamy (knee) and Keith Earls (groin) have reported good progress in their rehab programmes and are confident they will be fit for the Magners League and Heineken Cup.
Leamy believes he could be back in the mix for a pre-season friendly games against Leicester Tigers and Gloucester (Musgrave Park August 20 and 27), while Earls was more guarded in his assessment of a possible return.
Both players were alongside their skipper O’Connell at the Maryborough House Hotel in Cork yesterday to officially model the club’s new alternative adidas kit.
Leamy is relieved to be returning from a career threatening knee injury which sidelined him for seven months.
He said: “I feel I will be ready to play in the pre-season games, but Tony (McGahan) will ultimately decide. I suppose it be more appropriate to aim for the start of the Magners League, although I feel absolutely fine.
“It has been a long haul that was very frustrating at times when I had to work out by myself. Ultimately it helped that Donnacha Ryan and Darragh Hurley were heading to the gym at the same time.
“It can be a lonely place when you’re training by yourself and it meant that I spent a good bit of time as a supporter rather than being in the loop. I’m looking forward to getting back into the action as soon as possible.”
Earls has struggled with a groin strain that forced him out of Ireland’s summer tour to New Zealand and Australia.
The 22-year-old was bitterly disappointed to lose out on the trip down under.
“It was a medical decision and it has given me the chance to get the injury in order. I’m back running now and I feel pretty good, but I still have to start my pre-season and that will be reflected in when I get back playing. I would love to think I could get back for the opening Magners League game, but that is a decision for others to make.
“I have a bit to go yet, even though I feel fine,” he added.
adidas, meanwhile, expressed delight at the production of the new Munster jersey. Company representative Paul Moloney, Head of Sports Marketing, said: “We have enjoyed a hugely successful partnership with Munster rugby for the past three years.”
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