MUNSTER PROP JAMES Cronin faces another spell on the sidelines after it was confirmed he tore his calf muscle playing for the Barbarians at Thomond Park on Friday night.
The 26-year-old limped off just 10 minutes into the Baa-Baas’ clash with Tonga last week and Munster have today said Cronin has started a rehabilitation programme for the injury.
With no details over the severity of the injury disclosed, it is not yet known how long Cronin faces out of action with the return timeline ranging from two weeks to four month depending on the grade of the tear.
Either way, it is a desperately cruel setback for the three-time capped Ireland international who had only just returned after a knee injury which kept him on the sidelines since August.
Cronin made his first appearance of the season against Ospreys in October but suffered a relapse and was ruled out for another six weeks before featuring against Dragons in the final Pro14 fixture before the November internationals.
Speaking ahead of the Baa-Baas game last Friday, Cronin had said he was excited to get back to full fitness.
“The latest injury was the knee, a cartilage that I had complications with. I was out for six weeks then picked up another knee injury in my first week back,” he said last week.
“You name it, I’ve had the bad luck with the injuries but there’s a more positive outlook now.”
John Ryan, meanwhile, has returned from Ireland duty for rehab on a calf issue and Keith Earls (hamstring) and Tommy O’Donnell (shoulder) are now both back with the province.
Jack O’Donoghue is progressing well having sustained a minor ankle injury in Munster’s last outing against Dragons.
Gerbrandt Grobler (ankle), Conor Oliver (shoulder), Dan Goggin (knee), Ronan O’Mahony (fibula), Dave O’Callaghan (knee), Jaco Taute (knee), Niall Scannell (thumb) are continuing their respective rehab programmes.
New head coach Johann van Graan will arrive in Limerick next Monday to begin preparations for his first game in charge, which will be the province’s Pro14 trip to Zebre on 26 November.
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