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Munster move past Healy frustration as Carbery makes 'really good' progress

The 21-year-old out-half is set to be out of action for two to four weeks.

Ben Healy was injured in Munster's win over Harlequins.
Ben Healy was injured in Munster's win over Harlequins.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

MUNSTER HOPE TO have Ben Healy back from a shoulder injury in two to four weeks, while Joey Carbery is progressing “really, really well” with his recovery from a long-term ankle issue.

21-year-old out-half Healy will miss this weekend’s pivotal Champions Cup visit to Clermont after suffering the shoulder injury during last Sunday’s win over Harlequins at Thomond Park.

Head coach Johann van Graan was angered by two late hits on Healy in that game, with Harlequins captain Alex Dombrandt yellow-carded for the first and Joe Marler penalised for the second. 

Van Graan said the late hits were “unacceptable” but speaking today, Munster senior coach Stephen Larkham underlined that they have moved on.

“I think it was frustrating at the time but we’ve kind of moved on from that now,” said Larkham.

“It’s definitely frustrating for Ben to be missing games on the back of that but I think the guy [Dombrandt] spent his time in the bin and the game handled it quite well.

“I think the ref did a good job, reviewed it, had a good chat about it and, I think, made the right decision.”

Tipperary man Healy’s promising form has led to the Scotland-qualified out-half receiving a strong contract offer from Glasgow Warriors.

The academy playmaker’s current deal with Munster expires at the end of this season but they are hoping to hang onto Healy, with the IRFU due to lift its pause of contract negotiations in Ireland next month.

ben-healy-kicks-a-penalty Healy nailed a long-range penalty just after Dombrandt's hit. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Munster scrum-half Conor Murray revealed that the squad have been making light of Healy’s offer from Scotland.

“There are plenty of jokes in the gym and a few anthems being played for a bit of craic!” said Murray.

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“Ben has put credit in the bank with his performances and shown his stuff on a number of occasions.

“We want to keep our local players, the players we have brought up here ourselves, keep them within the squad, and keep giving them opportunities. That goes for a lot of young players in the squad at the moment so of course we don’t want to lose him. We want to keep our own talent.”

With Healy ruled out of this weekend’s tie in France, JJ Hanrahan looks certain to hold onto Munster’s number 10 shirt after starting there against Harlequins.

Centre Rory Scannell seems the most likely option to provide out-half cover, but Larkham highlighted that there are two other promising academy youngsters in that position.

“We’ve still got a number of 10s,” said Larkham. “We’ve got Jack Crowley, Jake Flannery, JJ, Joey’s not right at the moment, but we’ve still got Rory Scannell who can play there as well and has been a back-up for us before in big games. So we’ve still got four guys to choose from.”

Carbery remains on the comeback trail from his ankle issue, one that dates back to the summer of 2019.

joey-carbery Joey Carbery is making good progress with his rehab. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

While his timeframe for returning remains indefinite, Larkham was pleased to report that the 25-year-old is making good progress.

“Good, really good,” said Larkham when asked how Carbery is doing. “He’s training exceptionally well but we just don’t want to make the same mistakes that we’ve made in the past.

“Everything is tracking well, the timeframe is still unsure, but he’s ticking everything off in terms of his longer-term plan.

“It’s not going to be this year [2020], we’re not expecting him to play this year or in the short-term, but his progress is going really, really well at the moment.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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