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'The most important thing is Tyler himself as a man after rugby' - Van Graan

The Munster out-half has sustained a new neck injury.

MUNSTER BOSS JOHANN van Graan has stressed that Tyler Bleyendaal’s life after rugby is of the utmost importance after the out-half sustained a new neck injury. 

The 29-year-old has had neck surgery on two previous occasions, meaning Munster are treating his latest issue with real concern.

Bleyendaal’s initial move to Munster was delayed by neck surgery before he arrived in 2015, while he underwent a second procedure in 2018, keeping him sidelined from February until October of last year.

tyler-bleyendaal Bleyendaal has sustained a new neck issue. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Having reported stiffness in his neck in the wake of last month’s win away to the Ospreys in the Heineken Champions Cup, Bleyendaal has been absent in recent weeks and van Graan says the province will give him as long as he needs to recover from the latest setback after further examination.

Indeed, the Munster head coach underlined that Bleyendaal’s health post-rugby is at the centre of their thoughts, although they do have hopes that he will recover fully from this new neck issue.

“Tyler had some stiffness two weeks ago and after further investigation, there is a new injury but with his history, we will treat it conservatively and give him all the time he needs,” said van Graan in Limerick today.

“The most important thing is Tyler himself as a man after rugby and hopefully he can get on the field pretty soon.”

Meanwhile, Munster could be without loosehead prop Jeremy Loughman over the festive period due to the ankle injury he sustained against Racing 92 two weekends ago. 

The 24-year-old has not had to go under the knife and will instead be “managed conservatively” by Munster in the hope that he will be fit again in January.

“Jeremy will not have surgery so in that sense he has had a good week but it will be a few weeks yet for him,” said van Graan. 

His fellow loosehead, Ireland international, Dave Kilcoyne remains sidelined with a calf issue. 

“Dave Kilcoyne is itching to get running as he hasn’t been involved since the World Cup but it is a bit off for both players.”

Finally, van Graan was pleased to be able to report that Joey Carbery’s ankle issue is beginning to subside as his recovery continues. 

Munster expect the Ireland out-half back before the end of this month, with the Pro14 derby against Leinster on 28 December a potential return date.

“Joey has started a bit of running but he hasn’t trained with the team yet,” said van Graan. “The ankle is improving but we’ll take it by the week and hopefully by the end of the month, we’ll have him back.”

Originally published at 13.31

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Murray Kinsella

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