Sunday 18 February 2018

Erasmus allays Kleyn's neck fears

Kleyn will meet with a specialist today to determine the extent of the damage. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Kleyn will meet with a specialist today to determine the extent of the damage. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Rassie Erasmus has allayed fears surrounding Jean Kleyn's latest neck injury as Munster's director of rugby hopes to have his powerhouse lock available for their Champions Cup opener in Castres on October 15.

Kleyn, who has enjoyed an excellent start to the season scoring four tries in three games, suffered the injury in last Saturday's defeat in Glasgow and will meet with a specialist today to determine the extent of the damage.

The 24-year-old missed over three months of last season due to a neck problem picked up in February, but Erasmus is confident that the current concern is not the same issue.

"Jean got a bang to the neck again," Erasmus explained. "He is going to see the specialist tomorrow. I don't think he will be available this weekend definitely.

"It's not at all that serious. It might be a game or two. With Darren O'Shea and Gerbrandt Grobler out, there is a few guys injured, Dave O'Callaghan's out, the second-row there seems to be bad luck.

"It's one of those things but listen, we've got Robin Copeland who can play second-row and Sean O'Connor shouldn't be out for a long time and hopefully a guy like Jean Kleyn is next week back into the mix."

Mark Flanagan, who was signed on a short-term loan deal from Saracens last week, trained for the first time yesterday and will help ease the engine room concerns.

Munster could also be boosted by the return of Conor Murray, Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander for Saturday's visit of the Cardiff Blues but Keith Earls (groin) is struggling. Jack O'Donoghue and Darren Sweetnam will follow the return-to-play protocols after failing HIAs against Glasgow. Sean O'Connor (neck) will be monitored, while James Cronin, who has just returned from knee surgery, picked up a fresh setback but is "expected to return to action in the near future."

Erasmus is demanding a response from his side after what he said was their "worst performance in the last 40 games" in their 37-10 defeat at Scotstoun.

"We work together and it shouldn't be any excuses or looking for any excuses," he added. "It was just a really disappointing performance from the players and obviously us as coaches during last week. To pitch up in a game like that wasn't a good week."

Irish Independent

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