MUNSTER FLANKER NIALL RONAN will miss the province’s final Heineken Cup pool game against the Northampton Saints with a knee injury.
Ronan hobbled off during the first half of Saturday’s meeting with Castres Olympique and watched from the stands as his team-mates completed a hard-fought 26-10 win which wrapped up Munster’s quarter-final spot with a game to spare.
A scan this morning revealed that Ronan has damaged the ligaments in his left knee, ruling him out of the trip to face the Saints in Milton Keynes and possibly for longer, though the timeline for his recovery will not be known until later in the week.
The injury presents coach Tony McGahan with an unwelcome headache ahead of Saturday’s match, a game which Munster must win if they want to guarantee a home draw in the knockout stages.
Ronan’s natural replacement at openside, Tommy O’Donnell, is also sidelined with a knee injury while long-term absentee David Wallace is not expected to return to training until next month.
One option for McGahan will be to reshuffle the pack as he did on Saturday when he moved Donnacha Ryan from the second row to the back row and slotted Donncha O’Callaghan in alongside Paul O’Connell.
Elsewhere there is good news for Munster, with hooker Mike Sherry expected to feature this weekend in either the AIL or the British and Irish Cup.
Sherry returned to full training last week following a two-month absence with an ankle injury.