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Munster Squad Bolstered By Returning Players

Munster Squad Bolstered By Returning Players

Mike Sherry, Denis Hurley and BJ Botha are back in full training with Munster this week and could well feature in the RaboDirect PRO12 atcm against the Scarlets on Saturday night.

Tomas O’Leary (lower back) sees a specialist later this week when an indication of a return to training may be forthcoming.

Ian Nagle (shoulder) and Darragh Hurley (Achilles) have both resumed training and are expected to be in contention for inclusion in the squad for the trip to Cardiff next week, but Peter Borlase (Achilles) is looking at a five-week rehab period.

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Troy Smith undergoes surgery tomorrow to repair the damage to his cruciate knee ligament and Felix Jones, who saw a specialist last Friday, is unlikely to be back before Christmas.

One obvious positive for Munster is the early season form of new out-half Ian Keatley, who kicked 13 points to help the province claim a record 12th consecutive league win in Glasgow last Friday.

“Ian was a tremendous leader for us. He defended really well, kicked well out of hand and ran the ship,” said head coach Tony McGahan.

“He’s more comfortable with the group, and that’s evident in his play. They’re getting more comfortable playing with him too and understanding what he’s capable of doing because he’s certainly getting a bend in the defensive line and creating opportunities for others to run off him.

“He’s a real threat with the ball in hand as well as a threat with passes and kicks, so he’s a real danger around that channel.”