Season Over

The bad injury news just keeps on coming for Anthony Foley's Munster

Number eight Robin Copeland is set to undergo a surgical procedure on his shoulder.

JUST HOURS AFTER Munster confirmed that Damien Varley has been forced to retire due to injury, the province have announced that Robin Copeland’s season is over.

The dynamic number eight will not feature again in the current campaign due to a shoulder problem that has kept him out of action since December.

Robin Copeland dejected after the game Robin Copeland's season is over. James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Munster say 27-year-old Copeland met with a specialist yesterday, when it was decided that “a shoulder stabilisation procedure” is necessary to remedy the injury first picked up in the Guinness Pro12 clash with Leinster on St. Stephen’s Day.

The Wexford native has been limited to just eight starts in what my go down as a frustrating first season under Anthony Foley, with Copeland having joined from the Cardiff Blues last summer.

Having made his Test debut for Ireland against Georgia in November, any possibility of involvement with Joe Schmidt’s camp this spring was ruined by the shoulder problem, but Copeland will look to return stronger than ever next season.

Munster also lost prop James Cronin to injury for an unspecified period of time this week, the loosehead having undergone a minor procedure on a knee injury he sustained in Ireland’s win over Italy.

On a positive note, back row CJ Stander and Australian centre Andrew Smith have stepped up their recoveries from respective ankle and knee injuries, and both are expected back in full training at some stage this week.

Johne Murphy will resume contact training too, having recovered from a broken hand, while long-term ACL victim Cian Bohane has advanced to on-pitch running.

Second row Donnacha Ryan has stepped up his training too, “having made a return to modified scrummaging (3 man scrums).” The Ireland international’s reaction to that training will be monitored before he attempts to make any further progress.

Munster travel to face the Scarlets in this weekend’s Pro12 action, with a 14.40 kick off in the Saturday fixture.

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