Munster head coach Johann van Graan has said he is “gutted” for Joey Carbery following his latest injury setback on his return from a lengthy absence.
According to Virgin Media’s Sinead Kissane, the 24-year-old is set to spend between two and four months on the sidelines after suffering a wrist ligament injury in Friday night’s game against Ulster which requires surgery. The 38-17 loss was Carbery’s first full game since his brief outings for Ireland during the World Cup.
While admitting his disappointment with the prognosis, van Graan was adamant that Carbery will return stronger than ever from this latest blow.
“That’s rugby. I’m gutted for Joey as an individual, I care about the players.
“I was speaking to him on Monday afternoon when we got the news. Obviously, it’s not nice news for him. He worked hard to get back to this position, played his first 80 [minutes] in quite a while and now is out for a considerable amount of time.
“But that’s rugby, that’s life. He’ll be back. He’s a class man and a brilliant rugby player and he’ll come back stronger. I can’t wait to have him back in the future.”
Munster are now left in a precarious position in regards to their out-half options ahead of Sunday’s must-win game against Racing 92 in the Heineken Champions Cup.
Tyler Bleyendaal is continuing to rehab from a neck injury while the in-form JJ Hanrahan is a doubt with a hamstring injury sustained last month. Should the Kerry man fail to return in time, the province will have to rely on young Academy out-half Ben Healy or turn to centre Rory Scannell to cover the position.
Van Graan admitted that, while Hanrahan is eager to return in Carbery’s absence, his involvement will be decided by a fitness test on Friday.
“He did a bit of the team training. We’ll test him on Friday and if he comes through, we’ll play him at the weekend. I won’t risk him if the medical team says he’s not 100% right. Hopefully, he does, if he doesn’t, then we’re going to back Ben and Rory.
“I’d say 50/50 is a good way to put it. The most important thing is he wants to be ready, he’s an experienced 10. He knows that the team needs him for possibly 80 minutes so he knows he needs to be 100% right to perform and he’ll always put the team first.”