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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Munster back 'resilient' Carbery as he endures rotten run of luck

The Athy man has effectively been on the road to recovery for 53 weeks since picking up an injury ahead of the World Cup.

THE RUN OF rotten luck just keeps going for Munster and their sidelined star Joey Carbery.

Today’s announcement from the province that the Athy man’s ankle would not allow him complete a planned return in September and he would instead sit out an ‘indefinite’ period of time feels like a crushing blow to an exhilarating talent.

53 weeks have passed since Carbery suffered an agonising injury in the World Cup warm-up win over Italy. He has returned to competitive action since, sure. Twice. But it’s 53 weeks and counting before we can see Carbery in anything like the sparkling form he showed against the Azzurri in last August’s hopeful heat.

andrew-conway-consoles-joey-carbery-as-he-leaves-the-field-with-an-injury Carbery heads for the sideline on 10 August 2019. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

From afar we may think of Carbery as a laid back character, the way he glides across the grass feeding into the sense that he is easy going. But the quality his coach and captain kept referring to today was resilience.

“It’s disappointing for Joey… it’s disappointing,” said Peter O’Mahony. Who was also at close quarters over the years to witness Tyler Bleyendaal’s struggles to escape the clutches of injury to enjoy an extended stint in the Munster 10 shirt.

“As a player and (as a) friend with him, not to be playing alongside someone of his calibre, his quality of rugby… I’m just disappointed for him.

But he’s a resilient young fella. He’s more than capable of getting through his rehab, it’s just a bit longer than he thought.

“He’s prepared to do what it takes to get himself back fit. We’re all there to give him a  hand whenever he needs it and back him up. It’s disappointing not to have him involved. The impact he has is second to none.”

When Johann van Graan faced the media over a video conference call earlier this summer, he fielded questions with palpable excitement about a 9-10-12 axis of Murray, Carbery and De Allende. The key playmaker among the trio is now on an uncertain timeline.

“I’m not a medical person,” Van Graan said today when asked if Carbery may require further surgery.

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joey-carbery Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“We’ll look after him every step of the way. I wouldn’t want to speculate any further on the matter. Joey’s very important not only to Munster, but to Irish rugby so it’s important we look after him for the long months ahead.”

“He’s been working very hard on his rehab and he’s done everything that the medical team asked him to do. Unfortunately, in the next step of his rehab, he went to the specialist again and it wasn’t great news.”

Just as O’Mahony signalled that Munster players will be on hand to support Carbery despite this latest detour on his road to rehabilitation, Van Graan recounted that the IRFU have also given him assurances.

“Joey is very positive, and he has been ever since the first time I’ve met him.

“Together with David (Nucifora) and Andy (Farrell) we met up and reassured him we’ve got his back. Munster and the IRFU are with him on his journey to a full recovery.

“Like we said, he’s out for an indefinite time so we’ll take it day by day with him now until he returns.”

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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