Munster head coach Johann van Graan has insisted that the province will not be rushing Tyler Bleyendaal back onto the field as he recovers from a neck injury.
The New Zealand native was ruled out of Munster’s Heineken Champions Cup clash with Racing 92 last month due to “neck stiffness” but the province confirmed on Monday that he will be rested for a number of weeks in order to take “every precaution with his recovery.”
Bleyendaal has suffered with neck issues since his time at Canterbury when he required surgery for a prolapsed disc in his neck. He subsequently underwent another procedure on his neck which kept him out of action from February to October 2018.
Given his tumultuous history with the injury, van Graan insists he will be given all the time he needs to recover.
“Tyler had some stiffness two week’s ago and we gave him the weekend. Upon further investigation from the medical team, there’s a new injury. Obviously, with his history, we’ll give him all the time he needs and we’ll treat it conservatively. We’ll take it week-by-week.
The South African maintained that the province’s focus is on ensuring Bleyendaal’s wellbeing for his life after rugby.
“He’s one of our top players, another fly-half and a leader in our group and the most important thing is Tyler himself as a man going forward after rugby. We’ll look after him very well and hopefully, he’ll recover pretty soon and get back on the field.”
Meanwhile, there was some good news on the injury front for Munster as Joey Carbery was given a return date for the end of this month.
Van Graan admitted that they are still taking his recovery day-by-day but there are “a lot of positives”.
He’s started a bit of running, he hasn’t trained with the team yet. The ankle is improving and we’ll take it week by week. Like we said, hopefully, we’ll have him back on the field but that’s all dependant on how he goes day-to-day. A lot of positives.
Munster will name their side for Saturday’s crucial Heineken Champions Cup clash with Saracens on Friday lunchtime.