Friday 30 September 2016

Munster's Peter O'Mahony in semi-final fitness race but Zebo set for all-clear

Published 20/05/2015 | 02:30

Munster coach Anthony Foley seemed confident that winger Simon Zebo will be fit for Saturday’s match with Ospreys
Munster coach Anthony Foley seemed confident that winger Simon Zebo will be fit for Saturday’s match with Ospreys

Munster's inspirational captain Peter O'Mahony and wing wizard Simon Zebo face crunch fitness tests tomorrow as they continue a desperate race against time to be fit for Saturday's Guinness Pro12 semi-final showdown with Ospreys at Thomond Park.

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Coach Anthony Foley last night issued a cautious assessment of the captain's chances of being fit for the Limerick duel.

"It's hard, judging by the character of the fella that we all know," said Foley. "He just wants to feel pain-free and if he feels pain-free he will kick on and he can go through a lot.

"He is the captain of the side and we all want him to get there. But if it is not right for him to get there he will not be taking the field. We will give him every opportunity to get in for the semi-final because he is a big player."

O'Mahony damaged a hip during lineout practice last week. Yesterday, he undertook a vigorous running session with head physio Shea McAleer, although he won't risk contact until tomorrow.

"It's more running and making sure that he is comfortable doing that before we engage him any further in scrummaging or wrestling or anything on Thursday to see if he is fully fit," added Foley.

Foley was more confident in Zebo's ability to recover from back problems.

"He is a lot fresher. The back spasms have calmed down and hopefully, he was moving pretty free today."

Ospreys' influential centre Josh Matavesi (adductor) and wing Jeff Hassler (hamstring) also face crucial tests in Swansea tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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