Ryan injury setback puts tour in doubt
Donnacha Ryan is looking increasingly likely to miss out on Ireland's summer tour to Argentina after suffering a setback in his recovery from a foot injury.
Ryan had initially hoped to make it back in time to take part in Munster's Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulon last weekend, but now coach Rob Penney has ruled him out of this weekend's Pro12 clash with Edinburgh.
Munster's final regular season game takes place on Saturday week against Ulster, but it is unclear whether he will be able to play a part then or in the play-offs.
The Tipperary man missed all of Ireland's Six Nations campaign because of a knee injury, but his comeback only lasted four games when he suffered the foot injury against Treviso in March.
Ryan had participated in training last week in an effort to make it back in time for the trip to Marseille, but according to Penney he suffered the setback ahead of the game and will miss Saturday's trip to Edinburgh.
"He has taken a couple of steps backwards to try and get himself right," said Penney.
"We don't know how long he'll be out, it's just one of those injuries where we don't know. It's a pretty unique injury and we're guided by the specialist's report. The pain, he's dealing with it and that fluctuates with it so it's not easy."
Apart from Ryan, Penney has no new injuries to report, but he is likely to give rests to some of the players that have had heavy workloads of late.
But trying to get his side to park last weekend's loss to Toulon and focus on the chase for Pro12 silverware will be a huge task, he admitted.
"It's very challenging. It's times like this when some of the biggest hurdles come into your environment.
"We've had a really disappointing result out of a tournament that I think we all felt, at the end, we should have been able to get through to the final based on the performance we had on Sunday.
"We were right in on it and I think everyone walked away from the game (disappointed) because they knew we were in it.
"So to be able to get them up in a short turnaround and face into an away game again is one of the biggest challenges you'll find."
When Penney made the move to Ireland, winning the Heineken Cup was his big ambition and it won't now happen with Munster. But he still wants to end the season on a high with a good run in the Pro12.
"It's the reality, it's not difficult to comprehend, I understand it completely. It's extremely disappointing given I'm really proud of the way the group got to two semi-finals in two years.
"When I arrived people told me the horrible 'T' word (transition). The 'T' word hasn't been used for 18 months now. So I'm really proud of that aspect and to get the team to two occasions where with a bit of luck possibly we could have got to two finals, and having away draws in both semis, it's not easy."