Thursday 23 January 2020

Carbery's Six Nations in doubt after fresh setback

Munster's Joey Carbery. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Munster's Joey Carbery. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Joey Carbery's luckless run of injuries is set to continue after the out-half damaged ligaments in his wrist during last Friday's defeat to Ulster.

As exclusively revealed by, Carbery is facing another spell on the sidelines, with Munster later confirming that he requires surgery and will be out for the "immediate future", which puts his Six Nations in doubt.

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Munster are now facing a major out-half crisis ahead of Sunday's crucial Champions Cup clash against Racing in Paris, while Andy Farrell will also be sweating over Carbery's fitness as the new Ireland head coach has mounting headaches of his own in the No 10 position.

JJ Hanrahan is currently rehabbing a hamstring issue, while Tyler Bleyendaal remains sidelined with a neck injury, leaving Munster down to the bare bones at out-half.

Hanrahan is expected to be given every chance to prove his fitness before this weekend, with academy out-half Ben Healy on standby, as well as Rory Scannell providing an alternative option.

Johann van Graan also has injury concerns over Andrew Conway (neck), Tommy O'Donnell (hamstring) and Fineen Wycherley (head).

Since joining Munster in 2018, Carbery has been hampered with repeated setbacks and the latest one comes as a particularly cruel blow.

The 24-year-old had only just returned from an ankle issue against Leinster two weeks ago as he made his first appearance of the season, before following it up with a first start against Ulster last weekend.

He previously broke his left arm playing for Ireland against Fiji in November 2017, but it is unclear if this injury is to the same arm.

The news comes on the back of Leinster confirming that Johnny Sexton will not feature for them in either of their next two European games, meaning he is still in a race to be fit for the Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 1.

Although the out-half will step up his recovery this week, Stuart Lancaster ruled out any hope of Sexton returning over the next fortnight.

"No, he's making good progress, but that would be a tremendous turnaround from an MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury," Lancaster said, when asked if Sexton might be back for the Treviso encounter.

"It's not an injury that you suddenly go from being not injured to fit again in two or three weeks."

With their Champions Cup quarter-final place already secured, Leinster are not under pressure to rush Sexton back, and the same rule will apply to James Ryan (calf) ahead of the Lyon game at the RDS on Sunday.

The Ireland lock missed training yesterday and while Lancaster revealed that Ryan won't face a long spell out, a final decision on his fitness will be made tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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