Anthony Foley confirms Peter O'Mahony will miss Springboks tour
Peter O'Mahony will not tour South Africa with Ireland this summer after his Munster coach Anthony Foley effectively drew a line under the flanker's prospects of playing again this season.
O'Mahony, who suffered extensive knee ligament damage during last year's World Cup pool victory against France, had been tentatively pencilled in for a return to action during the Pro12 play-offs next month, were Munster to make it that far.
Although the player himself has refused to bow to the inevitable, the provincial and Irish medical staff are fully aware of the prognosis and Foley said that September is now a more feasible return date.
"He's not close," said Foley when asked of the flanker could return soon. "Our physio is saying week 48, which is the Pro12 final week. So that's him with no games, and that's if everything's going well.
"The Munster and Ireland medical staff are basically the same people. Everyone's aware of it, but I think everyone's kind of seeing how important Peter is and everyone wants to get him back as quickly as possible.
"We're not different, we'd love him back, but unfortunately at the moment he's still rehabbing."
Donnacha Ryan should recover from concussion in time to face Connacht in Saturday's crucial Pro12 clash in Galway, while Dave Foley and Dave O'Callaghan should be fit for the final two games of the regular season.
Meanwhile, Munster are closing on Johan Erasmus as their new director of rugby after South Africa ended a four-month hiatus by naming Allister Coetzee as their new coach.
Erasmus had been viewed as a contender for that job but Coetzee's appointment paves the way for him to take the Munster job if both sides agree terms.
The South African sports minister, Fikile Mbalula, has already heaped pressure on the new Boks coach ahead of th three-Test series against Ireland.
"South Africans are not very loyal. You can see people are here congratulating you. If you get beaten by the Irish, we are going to start digging up things we never knew about you," he said.