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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 3 March 2021

Munster's TOD and Wycherley return as Carbery and Earls remain on comeback trail

The openside flanker has been sidelined since January.

MUNSTER HAVE WELCOMED Tommy O’Donnell and Fineen Wycherley back into team training this week as they prepare for their Guinness Pro14 semi-final against Leinster at the RDS on Saturday 18 May.

Openside flanker O’Donnell has been sidelined since January due to a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery but 31-year-old has recovered fully and now offers Johann van Graan another option in the back row.

Tommy O'Donnell O'Donnell is back in full training. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Second row/blindside flanker Wycherley, meanwhile, has been missing in recent weeks after suffering a hamstring injury but he also returns ahead of the semi-final clash in Dublin.

Less encouragingly for Munster fans, the province say that Keith Earls “continues to be monitored by the medical team” as he deals with what a thigh injury, while Joey Carbery is “progressing with his re-integration to full team training.”

Earls pulled out of the Pro14 meeting with Cardiff Blues on 5 April after picking up an injury during the warm-up.

Having missed a month of rugby, the Ireland international was named to start last weekend’s play-off win over Benetton, only to be withdrawn the evening before the game. 

Carbery, meanwhile, sustained a hamstring injury in Munster’s Champions Cup quarter-final win over Edinburgh on 30 March and hasn’t featured since. 

Carbery was returning in that Edinburgh game from a hamstring injury he suffered playing for Ireland during the Six Nations, meaning he has only played 35 minutes of rugby in the past three months.

Speaking after last weekend’s game against Benetton, van Graan insisted that Carbery and Earls were “very close to full fitness”.

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The Munster head coach said he had opted not to risk them against Benetton “because they’re, one, very important players for Ireland and, two, very important players for Munster.”

Van Graan said “hopefully, they’ll be 100% once we get to the semi-final.”

Meanwhile, Munster have confirmed that hooker Rhys Marshall suffered a low-grade calf strain at training last week. The New Zealand native has had a number of calf complaints this season.

Loosehead prop Jeremy Loughman sustained a hamstring injury during Munster’s captain’s run before the Benetton game, forcing him to withdraw from the matchday squad.

The province say that wing Alex Wootton will undergo a knee procedure and his season is over, while Brian Scott [foot], James Cronin [leg] are progressing with rehabilitation.

Gavan Casey, Murray Kinsella and Bernard Jackman tee up Saturday’s Champions Cup final and look at the backroom problems in Munster.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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