The Munster squad took part in their first pitch session at the newly-redeveloped Irish Independent Park in Cork today and acquainted themselves with the upgraded West Stand facilities.
With the international contingent away, a number of Academy and Club players will join the Munster senior sessions for the next four-match GUINNESS PRO12 period.
On the injury front there is positive news for Luke O’Dea (hand) and Dave Kilcoyne (shoulder) this week as both return to full training. Kilcoyne’s response to full contact and scrummaging will be assessed as the week continues, and all going well he may be available for this Saturday’s clash with Cardiff Blues.
Denis Hurley, who required further assessment on a shoulder injury sustained against Sale Sharks, also made a return to contact training today, while Andrew Smith (knee) and Cathal Sheridan (forearm) continue to make progress with their respective rehabilitation programmes.
Robin Copeland (shoulder) continues to be monitored and will meet with the consultant for a further review early next week, however Duncan Casey has been ruled out for the next four to six weeks after rolling his ankle during training in Lanzarote.
CJ Stander (ankle) and Johne Murphy (hand) are both progressing well at this stage. Murphy will undergo an X-ray later in the week to review the healing process and may make a return to contact next week.
Tyler Bleyendaal is settling well into his new environment and this week experienced his first spell of training in Cork and Limerick. The New Zealander continues to follow his rehabilitation programme post disc-lesion surgery, and the medical team are continuing to assess his condition.
When referring to Bleyendaal’s status, Munster head coach Anthony Foley said: “It is important that people understand where we are with Tyler. He only underwent surgery in September and has a lengthy rehab period still ahead of him.
“We wanted to bring him over here to further assess the diagnosis and monitor his progress in-house. With an injury like this, there is always uncertainty and we want to make sure we are doing everything possible for the player. We should have a better understanding of the situation after reviewing his next scan in four weeks.”
Cian Bohane (knee), Alan Cotter (bicep), Johnny Holland (hamstring), Barry O’Mahony (ankle), Donnacha Ryan (toe), Mike Sherry (shoulder), Gerhard van den Heever (knee) and Damien Varley (foot) are all continuing with their rehabilitation programmes.