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Munster's Snyman runs for first time since injury but still has 'a long way to go'

The Springboks lock has stepped up his rehabilitation from a ruptured ACL.

Snyman was injured on his Munster debut last August.
Snyman was injured on his Munster debut last August.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

RG SNYMAN IS making positive progress with his recovery from an ACL injury but Munster head coach Johann van Graan has stressed that the Springboks lock still has “a long way to go” before he is ready to make a return to playing.

2019 World Cup winner Snyman joined Munster last year but cruelly suffered a serious knee injury just minutes into his debut against Leinster in August.

The South African subsequently underwent surgery on his ACL and has been rehabbing the injury since. Snyman stepped things up yesterday as he ran for the first time since being sidelined, but van Graan says there is still plenty of road left in his recovery.

Van Graan said it remains unclear whether Snyman will return to action for Munster before the end of the current season.

“Yesterday was the first time that he ran,” said van Graan this afternoon. “We’re very excited for him, he was very excited about it. I want to make it very clear that it was only straight-line running, it was the first time that he ran since his injury, so a long way to go for him but a significant milestone in his rehabbing process the fact that he actually ran.

“So that’s good news from our side, it means from a medical perspective, we can take the next step in his journey.

“It will still be an unspecified time. I said previously that it would be somewhere between March and June that he will be back. With ACLs, some go quicker than others, and we will just make sure that we have his best interests at heart.

“Once he’s ready for a return, we’ll return him to the pitch.”

Of course, Munster received a major boost with Joey Carbery’s successful return to action off the bench last weekend against Cardiff after more than a year on the sidelines with an ankle issue.

joey-carbery Joey Carbery made his Munster return last weekend. Source: Ryan Hiscott/INPHO

Van Graan highlighted the influence JJ Hanrahan and Ben Healy have had at out-half for Munster this season, while also noting that Jack Crowley and Jake Flannery are pushing for minutes, as he stressed that Munster will manage Carbery patiently.

“It was great for him and he’s still got a journey ahead of him now,” said the Munster boss. “We’ll take our time with Joey, each week will be different with him.

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“Just to put it into context, he has only done squad training up until Friday night which is an actual game scenario where he can get hit blindly, that he’s actually got to go out and do something where it’s not training.

“He recovered pretty well from that game. We said all along that we will take it week by week with Joey. It’s firstly how he feels, then taking the guidance from the medical and athletic performance teams.

“There’s also the bigger picture – it’s going to be no good to anybody if we just throw him in straight away in terms of minutes. He’ll take his time over the coming weeks.

“Within that context, I’ll do what’s best for Joey, the team, and all 10s involved.”

Munster tighthead Roman Salanoa and academy second row Thomas Ahern are both going through return-to-play protocols after sustaining head injuries last week.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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