14/05/02. It’s a question of ‘wait and see’ for Munster coach Declan Kidney with four of his players facing a race against time in their efforts to be fit in time for the Heineken Cup final.
The latest news is hardly encouraging with an MRI scan showing that Paul O’Connell (pictured) sufered anke ligament damage in the game on Friday against Ulster. O’Connell must therefore be rated very doubtful for the final while Anthony Horgan is also struggling to regain full fitness having suffered a recurrence of the shoulkder injury that sidelined him earlier in the campaign.
Jim Williams and Anthony Foley have resumed training but it is thought that it will be at least a week before the picture regarding their availability for selection becomes a little clearer.
Team manager Jerry Holland said last night, “Paul’s injury is obviously a serious one and of huge concern but we won’t rule him, or any of the other players, out of the picture yet. Jim and Anthony Foley have made good progress but it will be a while yet before either can fully test their injuries. But these things happen and that’s why we have a 35 strong squad. We started without Jim in Beziers and lost Anthony early on, but the lads who stepped in did the job for us.”
Besides his responsibilty for the player’s welfare, coach Declan Kidney has the added responsibility and a difficult balancing act in that with the New Zealand tour just around the corner, he will be expected to have Foley, O’Connell and Horgan in condition to be available for selection to travel.