Munster worried about neck injury to key player ahead of Saracens clash

Munster worried about neck injury to key player ahead of Saracens clash
Tyler Bleyendaal of Munster kicks a conversion against Ospreys. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

MUNSTER have confirmed that Tyler Bleyendaal’s neck injury is a new one and is a ‘worry’ according to head coach Johann van Graan.

“I would lie if I said it wasn't a worry,” said van Graan ahead of his side’s make or break clash with Saracens on Saturday at Thomond Park, 5.30pm.

“It's a new injury so it's not the same as before. He had some stiffness two weeks ago and we kind of let it settle over the weekend, and it didn't, and our medical team investigated further and we sent him for an opinion.

"There's a fresh injury to his neck and we're just going to give him all the time that he needs.

"There's an expectation that he will return but the two of us have discussed it as well, it needs to be completely right for him to get back onto the pitch.

"There's a life after rugby as well and for me that's the most important, what happens after this, and we're true to that way.

"Look, he's keen to get straight back in. Knowing Tyler, he's gutted not to be part of this but we'll do the best for him and give him all the time that he needs.” 

There was some positive news though in the loosehead prop’s position as Jeremy Loughman will not have to have surgery on an injury sustained a fortnight ago against Racing in Thomond Park.

"The medical team decided to treat him a bit more conservatively. 

"He's not going to go for surgery, which means he might be back a bit quicker, but that doesn't mean that he's going to be back for this block - hopefully, for the end of the block, Racing-Ospreys if I had to speculate, but we won't know.

"With Dave (Kilcoyne – Munster’s other injured loosehead prop), he's started a bit of running but hasn't trained with the team yet so it might still be a week or two, so he is progressing well.”

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