It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks for Joey Carbery.
The Ireland out-half has had to sit on the sidelines and watch his side endure a difficult time as they exited the Champions Cup at the semi-final stage to eventual winners Saracens.
Munster also scraped over the line in their Guinness PRO14 quarter-final victory over Benetton at Thomond Park as the southern province’s attacking play came under severe scrutiny.
A hamstring injury suffered in the Champions Cup quarter-final win over Edinburgh has seen the 23-year-old absent but the southern province confirmed that he will return to full training this week which puts him in line to feature against Leinster at the RDS on Saturday.
“Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good,” Carbery told the media on Monday.
“It’s obviously been a frustrating couple of months. Hammys are quite niggly so there were stages where I was getting good, then I was getting bad – it was hard to call.
“I made a pact with the physios that I wasn’t going to play until I was 100% so I’ve been playing the last couple of weeks and it feels pretty good. Hopefully, I can get through this week OK and I’ll be lucky enough to be selected.”
Carbery admits that it was difficult watching on in recent weeks but knows that due to the nature of the injury, it’s something which he cannot risk – he needs to be 100%.
“It was tough. You’ve worked with the lads all year and they’re the times you want to be out there – the best times. It’s hard to sit and watch on the sidelines knowing you’re so close but then you know yourself that you could hurt it again. I had to get it right so I’m feeling in a good place now and hopefully it’s going to be a good week ahead and we’re pretty excited as a team.”
That excitement is understandable as Munster prepare to take on their bitter rivals in knockout rugby and Carbery admits it would be “huge” to win silverware with Munster.
“It’d be huge. I’ve signed on for another three years after this year. I love it down here, I’m really excited, the potential for this team is endless really. We’re working hard to get a taste for silverware, I know how much it would spur us on to learn more, to improve more, so it’s huge for us to go out now and put a performance in on Saturday.”
“Yeah, very easy [the decision to extend contract]. I love it down here, I love the people. Everyone has made me feel very welcome and I’m loving playing rugby down here as well. The potential is ruthless, we can get to wherever we want to, it’s just going to take work and take time.”