O'Connell set to miss most of Munster's run-in

Skipper expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.

MUNSTER MAY HAVE finally ended their winless streak against Leinster on Saturday but their delight will be tempered slightly by the news that Paul O’Connell will be forced to watch from the sidelines for the next few weeks.

The inspirational skipper had to be helped from the field early in the second-half of the province’s 24-23 win after landing awkwardly during a line-out.

Although it was feared at the time that the second-row may have broken his ankle or ruptured his achilles tendon, initial scans have suggested that the ligament damage sustained is slightly less severe than that.

Today’s Irish Examiner reports that O’Connell will travel to Dublin today for further treatment on the problem with medics suggesting that he will be out of action for anywhere between four and six weeks.

With Munster hoping to feature in the final of the Amlin Challenge Cup on May 20, O’Connell will be hoping to be fit by that stage if not for the Magners League semi-finals which are scheduled for the previous week.

Before the province can even think of a European date in Cardiff however, they will have to first overcome Brive whom they face on Sunday afternoon in the tournament’s quarter-finals. A tie against either Stade Francais or Montpellier on April 30 or May 1 awaits the winners.