Wednesday 21 February 2018

Murray winning foot race as Munster escape injury crisis

Conor Murray is on course to return after injury for Munster’s crucial Champions Cup clash against Leicester Tigers on Saturday
Conor Murray is on course to return after injury for Munster’s crucial Champions Cup clash against Leicester Tigers on Saturday
David Kelly

David Kelly

Conor Murray is in line to return for Munster's crucial Champions Cup round three clash against Leicester Tigers on Saturday after completing a full training session as he continues to recuperate from the foot injury sustained against Treviso in round one last month.

The Lions star's expected availability will be a significant boost for the Thomond Park clash as the returning veteran understudy, Tomás O'Leary, suffered a recurrence of his back spasm issues once again this week.

Unlike some of their Irish rivals, Munster's injury profile remains startlingly healthy as they could boast 40 players at a committed, often sternly silent training session in UL yesterday, as the squad continue to brood following a recent brace of humbling league defeats.

Aside from six long-term casualties, Munster should be able to boast a considerable bundle of riches from which head coach Anthony Foley must select his 23-man squad, presuming Murray's (pictured) injury remains becalmed.

Andrew Conway and Jack O'Donoghue trained fully after illness ruled them out of the pointless weekend trip to Newport, while Mike Sherry (knee) and Donnacha Ryan (ribs) also emerged unscathed.

With BJ Botha completing his return to play protocols in the full-on session and the exciting Francis Saili tentatively stepping up his running before a more severe test later in the week on his calf strain, Foley's side will not have injuries as an excuse for failing to perform against the unbeaten Tigers.

"I'm not too far away," he says when asked if a starting XV had already formed in his mind. He had been a tad more forthright when asked in the immediate aftermath of the Dragons' defeat. "There's a lot of stuff that goes on that you wouldn't believe at times, fellas getting back spasms sitting on a couch. It's hard in this period.

"Conor trained fully today but with Francis we need to see how the foot reacts tomorrow. But looking at him today I'm happy that he's not too far away.

"He's had three weeks where he's had no pressure through that foot. So this is the week where we're pushing it.

"He ran last week three to four times and this week he's trained fully so far and we need to see where it goes tomorrow.

"But you don't know how he's going to wake up. Fellas get injured getting out of bed."

Irish Independent

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