Conor Murray has said that he is nearing a return from the neck injury which has seen him sidelined for all of this season so far.
Murray hasn’t played since the third Test against the Wallabies in the summer and the silence surrounding his injury has fuelled speculation and rumour. However, although Murray admits that the rumours were “crazy” he doesn’t regret the approach he took in keeping his cards close to his chest.
“The rumours were crazy,” Murray told the media this afternoon at a PINERGY event in Dublin. “But I wouldn’t change it. I wouldn’t approach the injury any differently because like you said, my close group of friends and family, I’m letting them know all I know, what all the physios know.
“We know exactly what the injury is and how we’re progressing, what I’ve done this week. For a long period of time, we’d say this is improving and hopefully, it’ll continue to improve. Which is what we said soon enough after not saying anything.”
Ultimately, the reason for Murray’s reluctance to divulge details of the injury at the beginning of the season was simple – he didn’t really know the nature of the problem.
“I’m nearly back. I’m doing 90% of training with Munster for the last three weeks or so, doing modified contact on the sideline. The reason we kept it quiet at the start is because we didn’t know what it was. That was my whole thinking behind it, it wasn’t ever the whole data protection or me keeping it secret.
“It was, ‘Look, I don’t know what this is yet fully, I don’t know when I’m going to be back, so let’s just say I’m managing an injury.’ From my side, I said it to Johann [Van Graan] and I said it to Fiona [Murphy, Munster media officer] down in Munster, ‘Let’s just keep it here and say I’m managing an injury until we find out how long it’s going to take.’
“I think a week or two later, we said it was a neck injury, that we were managing my neck injury and then by the time we said that, the rumour mill had started, everything had snowballed and it was just this big deal.
“I’m nearly there, that’s what we can say, I’m nearly there. I think in the next few weeks I’ll be allowed play. I’m itching to play, I’m pretty much fully training and I feel good. It’s just making sure it’s right and the lines of communication with Munster, the IRFU, the national coaches, everyone has been clear and they’re happy I just get it right and make sure I come back ready to go, rather than pushing it.
“This isn’t an injury you can push, it’s in my neck and you’ve just to make sure it’s strong enough to come back and play professional rugby.”
Murray said the injury flared up after the summer Test series against the Wallabies where he received bangs to the neck in each game with the biggest one coming in the final clash against the Wallabies.
“I had to let it settle, obviously the usual scans and things like that, and I had an MRI about four weeks ago. The disc is gone back in, it was just a bulging disc like I’ve had – nothing major.
“It’s gone back to where it was, thankfully, and that’s a pretty big step for us, a result that meant we could crack on and wait for the strength to come back. It’s doing that, it’s been a progression all the time, so nearly there.”
Munster and Ireland supporters will hope that this progression continues and that they see Murray back on the pitch some time in November.
PINERGY today announced that it has teamed up with Munster scrum-half, Conor Murray, for the 2018/2019 season, as part of its innovative #WeAre16 campaign. PINERGY the official energy partner to Munster Rugby will continue its Fan of the Match competition and introduce the new PINERGY POWER PLAYER for the second year of the #WeAre16 campaign. The Fan of the Match will be presented with a match jersey at every home game along with two tickets to the game. Munster fans will have the chance to nominate themselves through PINERGY’S Facebook page before every home game this season.