Sunday 21 July 2019

Munster setback as Hurley joins O'Donnell on sidelines

An ankle injury has put Denis Hurley out of contention as the season commences
An ankle injury has put Denis Hurley out of contention as the season commences

Declan Rooney

Tommy O'Donnell will discover the severity of his injury in the next couple of days when he visits a specialist to review his hip problem.

O'Donnell was ruled out of the upcoming World Cup because of a dislocated hip picked up in last week's warm-up against Wales, but is likely to face a lengthy chunk of Munster's campaign on the sidelines as a result.

And in a further blow to Anthony Foley's side centre Denis Hurley will miss the start of the season because of an ankle injury picked up in training last week.

Hurley, who last season switched to centre from his usual full-back role, sustained the injury when tackled during a non-contact session and Foley says he will at least miss the next two weeks.

"Denis is up at a specialist today (Monday) and I think Tommy O'Donnell is seeing someone on Tuesday or Wednesday. So until that I won't know any more," said Foley.

"At training last Monday Denis went to go on an outside break and he got tackled which was unusual because we weren't tackling in that drill. Just somebody lunged for him and he caught his ankle awkwardly.

"At my first view of it I was pretty worried, it looked a bad injury. But scans have revealed that it is not as bad as first feared. Yeah he is a doubt for the start of the season, it's not a two-week injury. Getting a time line on it will be a bit difficult but he definitely won't be back in two weeks."

Foley and Munster will continue to gradually reintroduce his squad to pre-season action this Friday when they welcome Connacht to Thomond Park - the game is still regarded as a home fixture for Connacht despite the Limerick venue.

Munster supporters will get a first look at new New Zealand signing Francis Saili on Friday, while CJ Stander, Ian Keatley, James Cronin, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer, Jack O'Donoghue, Duncan Williams and Shane Monahan will also feature.

However, after such a promising debut last week Tyler Bleyendaal has been ruled out of action with a groin injury, while Robin Copeland will be assessed following a shoulder knock against Grenoble.

"We had one or two bangs and knocks during the game. Tyler with his groin, Jordon Coughlan had a stinger in the shoulder but he should be fine. Robin came off and he is undergoing assessment at the moment.

"It's nothing serious but obviously we need to see where he's at. It's a shoulder, head, neck area so we just need to clear up what it is and hopefully have an answer on that.

"Tyler had a tight groin, he started tightening up after the warm-up kicking, and it was gradually getting worse during the game as he kicked so we felt it was important not to damage it any further so we took him off.

"We've given him a week to get right and get back to full fitness and be right for London Irish," Foley said.

Irish Independent

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