Munster left sweating on Murray for Toulouse test
Conor Murray remains a major injury concern for Munster ahead of next week's Champions Cup quarter-final with Toulouse because of the injury he sustained playing for Ireland in the Six Nations.
In further blows for Munster, locks Jean Kleyn and Dave Foley have been ruled out for the rest of the season, while Francis Saili and Ian Keatley will also miss Munster's European showdown.
Murray missed Ireland's final Six Nations clash against England with a shoulder injury he sustained against Wales and is still unfit for action according to Munster head coach Rassie Erasmus.
"It can be a week thing, it can be two weeks, three weeks," said Erasmus. "I guess it's the same as what Rory Scannell had a few months back. Rory's took four weeks, I think.
"It depends on the moment he gets all his power and movement right and he can play again, or hopefully he can make it by next week.
"At the moment he has got an injury that can get worse if he plays, and that's why I think it was touch and go for the Irish game. They felt he could play, but then the end of the week he wasn't ready.
"I guess we will be more of less in the same situation, we'll take it day by day. I think if the game is now today he won't be able to play, but by Monday he might be."
Murray, Donnacha Ryan, Simon Zebo and Keith Earls have all been given a week off after their international exertions, while their other internationals, including Peter O'Mahony, are available for Saturday's clash with Zebre in Parma.
The outlook for Earls was more promising with Erasmus saying the winger's shin injury was not "too serious", but knee injuries for Saili and Keatley will leave Munster short on options in midfield.
South African Kleyn had neck surgery last week and won't be back until the pre-season, while Foley's wrist injury also means he will miss the remaining two months of the season.
And Erasmus also moved to quell concerns about out-half Tyler Bleyendaal who missed the Cardiff game before the lay-off with a 'niggle'.
The coach says he will play against Zebre to prepare for the arrival of Toulouse on Saturday week.
"Tyler will be fit to play this weekend so we will play him. And we haven't played for two weeks you know. We'll try and get the guys match-ready.
"They had two weeks off. We can simulate in training sessions, contact as much as we want to, we have to get game intensity. If he's fit, which he currently is. If he doesn't pick up anything for the rest of the week he will play."