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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

Munster insist there's 'no frustration' at Carbery returning from World Cup injured

The 24-year-old is rehabbing an issue he carried throughout Ireland’s campaign in Japan.

MUNSTER SENIOR COACH Stephen Larkham insisted the province are not frustrated that Joey Carbery returned from the World Cup with an ankle injury.

Munster have not put a timeline on the out-half’s recovery from the issue, with Larkham saying he had come back from his involvement in Ireland’s campaign with “a fair bit of damage” to the ankle.

Carbery first suffered the injury in a World Cup warm-up game against Italy in August, when he swiftly underwent a surgical procedure.

joey-carbery Carbery is now rehabbing his ankle injury. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Carbery’s involvement in the World Cup was in major doubt but head coach Joe Schmidt opted to select the talented playmaker, who missed the opening match against Scotland but came off the bench in the shock defeat to Japan the following weekend.

Carberty was withdrawn from Ireland’s third game at a late stage due to an aggravation of the ankle issue, before making replacement appearances against Samoa and in the quarter-final defeat to New Zealand.

Upon his return home, Munster revealed that Carbery and Ireland had been “managing” his ankle issue throughout the tournament in Japan and that he was facing an extended period on the sidelines as the province hope to see the injury fully heal.

It means Carbery is missing for this month’s key Champions Cup clashes and is also a real doubt to feature in December’s back-to-back ties against Saracens, with Munster finding it difficult to put a definite timeline on Carbery’s recovery, as they hope to see him regain 100% fitness after a string of injury problems.

Munster could be forgiven for holding real frustrations at such a key player returning from the World Cup injured, having clearly been attempting to play through the issue in Japan, but Larkham insisted yesterday that there is no ill feeling towards Ireland.

Larkham pointed to the good form of out-halves Tyler Bleyendaal and JJ Hanrahan so far this season, while underlining just how big an opportunity the World Cup had been for Carbery.

joey-carbery-after-the-game Carbery was playing injured at the World Cup. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“It’s not a frustration at the moment because Tyler and JJ are playing really good footy,” said Larkham. 

“If you think about that situation, it’s a World Cup, it comes around once every four years. It’s something that’s very special to every player who plays international rugby.

“Joey wanted to push himself, the coaches wanted him out there because he’s such a talented player. I can understand how the situation evolved.

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“We’ve told Joey, and Joey’s on board, that we want to make sure that we rehab this properly and give him a good chance to actually get back to full peak fitness.

“So from our perspective, no frustration. We completely understand the situation.”

With Carbery set to be out of action for some weeks yet, Bleyendaal started at out-half last weekend in the Heineken Champions Cup win over Ospreys, which Hanrahan missed due to a hamstring injury.

Hanrahan is back in training with Munster this weekend but it remains unclear whether he will be fit to face Racing 92 at Thomond Park on Saturday.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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