MUNSTER head into this Saturday’s crucial Pro14 clash with Scarlets at Thomond Park reeling from the news that Joey Carbery has had to have further surgery in a bid to correct an ankle issue that has plagued him throughout this season.
Carbery picked up the injury in a World Cup warm up game with Italy and struggled to shake off the injury when he came back into the Munster set up. The out half had been out of action due to a wrist injury since early January and after visiting with an ankle specialist last week it was decided that surgery was the best option.
“He got advice that while he was out with his wrist, it was best to do this procedure (the ankle operation),” said Munster defence coach JP Ferreira earlier this week. “The op went well. We don’t have any timeline – it has got to settle and then the medics will come back with an update for us.
“He is still out with the wrist and he will be reassessed to see how the operation went and then how long it will take to recover. Hopefully, it is in the same timeline as it was with the wrist. If it is, and I understand it might be, that’s why he got the op now.”
Ferreira is expecting a very tough challenge from this Saturday’s opponents as the race for a home semi final hots up. Munster consolidated second place with their bonus point win over Zebre last weekend despite an up and down performance.
Tries from Calvin Nash, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam and JJ Hanrahan helped Munster to the victory. Hanrahan also slotted four excellent conversions in the 28-0 victory and gave an all-round excellent display that earned him the man of the match award.
Scarlets stayed in touch with a comfortable win over the Kings and remain three points behind Munster in third position. Edinburgh currently top Conference B and are three points ahead of Johann van Graan’s men.
“They have always been one of the strongest Welsh sides,” acknowledged Ferreira. “They have got depth, even now, with their internationals out. We know what’s coming. Brad (Mooar, Scarlets head coach) has done a really good job with them. They have got big threats all around and we have to be on our game this weekend.
“They are three points behind us so it is massive for us. We have to beat them at the weekend and create a bit of space between us and then it is all onto Edinburgh. They have got a good kicking game and that’s something that Brad brought in from the Crusaders.
“Good ball carriers and have some poach threats which is massive. We had a big focus on the poach when we played them at Thomond Park two years ago with Tadhg (Beirne) being on the other side. We did really well that day and that focus remains in place.”
Van Graan has Chris Farrell and Jack O’Donoghue available to him again after they were released from Irish camp in the wake of their defeat to England. Munster are awaiting scan results on injuries picked up by Niall Scannell and Shane Daly.
Craig Casey is back training after an x-ray to a hand injury revealed no fracture. Tyler Bleyendaal, Tadhg Beirne, Jean Kleyn, Rhys Marshall and Brian Scott are all continuing to rehab their respective injuries. Munster v Scarlets has a 5pm kick off at Thomond Park on Saturday and is live on TG4.