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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

Ireland and Munster lock Donnacha Ryan set for up to six months out

Worryingly, Keith Earls’ knee injury has not healed over the last five weeks and he will visit a consultant.

Ryan hasn't featured for Munster in the current campaign.
Ryan hasn't featured for Munster in the current campaign.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

MUNSTER HAVE CONFIRMED that Donnacha Ryan will be sidelined for four to six months, as he prepares for toe surgery later this week.

The 30-year-old second row had hoped to make his comeback early this season, but following consultation with a specialist based in London, the province have confirmed that Ryan will go under the knife.

Tipperary man Ryan first picked up the injury in a Pro12 fixture against Treviso last March and hasn’t played a game for club or country since. Munster say that the 28-cap Ireland international has undergone “extensive, conservative rehabilitation” over the last six months, but surgery is the only remaining option at this stage.

As a result, Ryan is unlikely to return to action until January at the earliest, potentially ruling him out of Munster’s six pool stage fixtures against Saracens, Clermont and Sale in the Rugby Champions Cup.

It also means the lock will be unavailable to Ireland coach Joe Schmidt for the November Test series, and puts his involvement in the 2015 Six Nations in doubt.

Munster head coach Anthony Foley said:

Donnacha has done everything that has been asked of him and we know it has been a tough time for him with the option of surgery available as a last resort. We are now at that point and we just want him to get through the next stage and back to full fitness.”

Meanwhile, Munster report that Keith Earls is to meet with a consultant early next week as his rehab on a knee injury continues. The wing picked up the problem at an Ireland training camp in August, after which his time frame for recovery was estimated at “four to five weeks” by Munster.

That that initial period has now elapsed is surely a concern for Munster and Ireland.

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Keith Earls Earls remains on the comeback trail. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Elsewhere, Tyler Bleyendaal “underwent a successful operation on a disc lesion and is feeling comfortable” in his native New Zealand. The 24-year-old out-half/centre was scheduled to join Munster upon completing ITM Cup duties with Canterbury, but now his arrival is in doubt.

Munster will hope that Bleyendaal reacts to the surgery well and shows signs of making a positive recovery.

Leinster will be without Shane Jennings for the next three to four weeks after the openside flanker sustained a hamstring injury in the defeat to Connacht last Friday night.

There is better news from Connacht, where Willie Faloon and Niyi Adeolokun have been passed fit despite being replaced during that morale-boosting interprovincial success. Danie Poolman is available again after falling ill before the Leinster clash.

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Murray Kinsella

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