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Carbery to return later this month but Bleyendaal resting with neck issue

The New Zealander is dealing with ‘stiffness’ in his neck, where he has had previous injury issues.

MUNSTER’S TYLER BLEYENDAAL will be absent from action for several weeks as the province take a precautionary approach after the out-half reported “stiffness” in his neck.

More positively, the southern province report that Ireland international Joey Carbery is set for a return to action by the end of this month.

joey-carbery-after-the-game Carbery has been sidelined since the World Cup. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Carbery came back to the province from the World Cup with an ankle injury, which he had managed in Japan, and Munster have given him time to fully recover.

Their latest injury update says Carbery “is in line to make a return towards the end of the month.”

Munster face Leinster at Thomond Park on 28 December in the Guinness Pro14 and that may the fixture Carbery is targeting for his return.

His fellow out-half Bleyendaal hasn’t played since starting Munster’s opening Heineken Champions Cup game against the Ospreys on 16 November.

The New Zealander “presented with neck stiffness” in the wake of that game, according to Munster, and he is now being given “a number of weeks to rest in taking every precaution with his recovery.”

Bleyendaal has had surgery on his neck twice in recent years, the first of which delayed his arrival to Munster in January 2015 and meant he didn’t debut until April of that year.

The 29-year-old was then sidelined with neck issues in 2018, again requiring surgery and keeping him sidelined from February until October of that year.

Bleyendaal had hoped to put his injury issues behind him in the current campaign and played seven times up to and including the Ospreys clash but Munster are now understandably taking a conservative approach with his latest neck issue.

tyler-bleyendaal Bleyendaal has had consistent injury frustrations. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

With Carbery still rehabbing his ankle injury, JJ Hanrahan is of utmost importance to Munster, whose other out-half option for this weekend’s Champions Cup clash with Saracens is 20-year-old Ben Healy.

Hanrahan started and impressed in Munster’s home draw with Racing 92 at Thomond Park in round two of the European competition last month, having missed the Ospreys clash with a hamstring issue.

Meanwhile, Munster have confirmed that loosehead prop Jeremy Loughman did not require surgery on the ankle injury he sustained against Racing but will instead be “managed conservatively by the medical staff.”

Loughman is now sidelined, however, joining fellow loosehead prop Dave Kilcoyne on the list of injured Munster players and leaving James Cronin in line to start against Saracens on Saturday.

Flanker Chris Cloete [head injury], prop Ciaran Parker [calf], and wing Darren Sweetnam [hamstring] also remain on the comeback trail. 

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Murray Kinsella

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