Mixed Injury News For Munster Ahead Of PRO14 Opener
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South African centre Jaco Taute is in line for a long-awaited return as Munster get the 2018/19 PRO14 season underway against the Cheetahs at Thomond Park.
The Springbok has been sidelined for almost a year, missing all but a handful of games last season after picking up a serious knee injury very early into the campaign. Munster head coach Johann van Graan says Taute could feature this weekend, depending on his “game fitness.
“Jaco might become available for selection. We’ll see how his game fitness is,” van Graan said on Monday.
“He has come back from a big injury, so it went up and down, mostly very good. With the extent of the injury he has had he is in line with his timing back. A player’s welfare is very important to me.”
Conor Murray’s injury wasn’t mentioned on Monday, but news broke late yesterday evening that Munster had signed All Black Alby Mathewson, confirming the Patrickswell man is facing some time out with a neck problem.
Another man who knows all about neck problems is Tyler Bleyendaal. The New Zealander has been ravaged with injury every since signing for the province back in 2014. He most recently underwent neck surgery in March and has been sidelined ever since.
Centre Chris Farrell is also a still a “long way out” from returning after he picked up a serious knee ligament injury while on Ireland duty during the Six Nations.
“No, nothing new there on the two of them,” van Graan said when asked about both Farrell and Bleyendaal.
“Chris, because it was such a big knee injury, we are still a long way out. Tyler is improving day by day but it is impossible to tell when he will be back. He hasn’t even trained with the team so I don’t have an update on that.”