Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Billy Stickland/INPHO Murray injured his shoulder against Wales in Cardiff.
# Fingers crossed
Erasmus to give Murray every chance of being fit for Toulouse
The scrum-half has been given the week off ahead of the province’s Champions Cup showdown with the French side.

RASSIE ERASMUS SAYS he will give Conor Murray until Friday week to prove his fitness ahead of the province’s Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulouse.

Murray missed Ireland’s final Six Nations game against England last weekend after he sustained a shoulder injury before half-time against Wales the week before.

Murray, Donnacha Ryan, Simon Zebo and Keith Earls have all been give a week off after their international exertions, while all their other internationals, including Peter O’Mahony, are available for Saturday’s clash with Zebre in Parma.

“It can be a week thing, it can be two weeks, three weeks,” said Erasmus of Murray’s injury. “I guess it’s the same as what Rory Scannell had a few months back. Rory’s took I think four weeks.

“At the moment he has got an injury that can get worse if he plays, and that’s why I think it was touch and go for the Irish game. They felt he could play, but then the end of the week he wasn’t ready.

“I guess we will be more of less in the same situation, we’ll take it day by day. I think if the game is now today he won’t be able to play, but by Monday it might be. He is always a guy that you’ll give a chance till the Thursday or Friday before the game to see if he can get fit.”

Earls is not considered a doubt for the game after the shin injury he picked up last weekend, but Munster will definitely be without Jean Kleyn and Dave Foley who will miss the rest of the season, while Francis Saili and Ian Keatley will sit out the next four weeks with knee injuries.

The outlook for Earls was a touch more promising with Erasmus saying the winger’s shin injury was not ‘too serious’, but knee injuries for Saili and Keatley will leave Munster short on options in midfield – especially if Murray is also ruled out.

South African Kleyn had neck surgery last week and won’t be back until the pre-season, while Dave Foley’s wrist injury also means he will miss the remaining two months of the season.

And Erasmus also moved to quell concerns about out-half Tyler Bleyendaal who missed the Cardiff game before the break with a ‘niggle’.

The coach says he will play against Zebre to ready himself for the arrival of Toulouse on Saturday week.

“Tyler will be fit to play this weekend so we will play him. And we haven’t played for two weeks you know. We’ll try and get the guys match ready. If he doesn’t pick up anything for the rest of the week he will play.”

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