Wednesday 18 October 2017

Sweetnam knee blow as O'Donnell faces fitness race

Munster's Darren Sweetnam. Photo: Paul Devlin/Sportsfile.
Munster's Darren Sweetnam. Photo: Paul Devlin/Sportsfile.
David Kelly

David Kelly

Munster have confirmed that Darren Sweetnam's knee injury will rule him out for six weeks - and may have been made worse because of his "tough hurling background".

The back three player has made a huge impression in his breakthrough season.

But he played on against Leinster after apparently not realising how serious his knee injury was.

"He is not a guy that knows injuries a lot," explained Erasmus.

"He doesn't have the wealth of experience of a lot of injuries, not just because of his age, but because of the time he has played rugby.

"Obviously he has a tough hurling background so he didn't understand the extent of the injury when he came off.

"He seldom misses training but luckily he is young and he has got lots of time to recover."

Munster may be forced into another change to their previously unchanging Champions Cup line-up this weekend.

Tommy O'Donnell's ankle knock, picked up in last Saturday's 16-9 Pro 12 win in Galway against Connacht, forced him to sit out yesterday afternoon's training session at UL and a final test tomorrow will determine his availability for Saturday's re-scheduled trip to Racing 92 in Paris.

"I would say really it's 50-50," reported Erasmus of the luckless Tipperary flanker.

"I wouldn't be overly positive, but he is a tough guy. He is a specialist openside flanker, very important for us."

Erasmus also confirmed that the IRFU have rubber-stamped the loan extension for Springbok Jaco Taute until the end of the season, as well as that of scrum-half Angus Lloyd.

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