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More scans but scale of Cloete injury abates

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Sammy Arnold in jovial mood during Munster’s training session in Limerick yesterday. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Sammy Arnold in jovial mood during Munster’s training session in Limerick yesterday. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Sammy Arnold in jovial mood during Munster’s training session in Limerick yesterday. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Munster flanker Chris Cloete is to undergo further scans to establish the extent of the injury which led to him being carried off the field on a stretcher during Saturday's win over Leinster.

Irish prop Tadhg Furlong was shown a yellow card for the challenge and, while the exact nature of the injury is not yet known, Munster coach Johann van Graan confirmed it is not as serious as initially feared.

"He's walking around and it's not as serious as it looked on Saturday. He was in this morning and will have another scan later," said Van Graan at Munster's High Performance Centre at UL yesterday.

"He is very sore today. Obviously it was a very big knock and he can't move his neck. It looks like he won't be available this week."

Cloete is Munster's main concern after ending a four-match losing run against their biggest rivals but Van Graan said there was hardly a single player who wasn't marked after a bruising encounter.

"There are quite a few knocks and bruises. I think the whole team has gotten something somewhere. Both teams were really climbing into each other, but I think most guys will be available for selection.

"I've had a good look at the game. It was a really bruising encounter and interesting to see how the bodies reacted.

"There were quite a few stiff and sore bodies and that's what you expect when two top-quality teams go at each other for 80 minutes.

"It was a real dogfight. Both teams wanted to win and both gave it their all until the very last second. We're very happy to have come away with the win."

Van Graan, forced to line out without captain Peter O'Mahony, confirmed that a number of internationals would also have to sit out the trip to Galway on Saturday as part of the player welfare programme. But he's hopeful that Irish centre Chris Farrell and hooker Rhys Marshall might be available for Saturday after recovering from injury.

"Chris Farrell might be back and Rhys Marshall is back on the field. Liam O'Connor is back on the field training which is great news after his horrific knee injury last year.

"James Cronin will still be out for quite a bit of time. Brian Scott is also still out for a long time as is Dave O'Callaghan, so some you win and some you lose," added Van Graan.

He's expecting another big test at the Sportsground on Saturday and he is hopeful that they will continue to show the composure displayed on Saturday.

"In all the Munster-Leinster games that I have been involved in, emotions have been pretty high. This was a special evening at Thomond Park.

"I thought for most of the game, we kept our cool and I was happy with our discipline. I think the officials handled it well over the weekend," he added.

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