TYLER BLEYENDAAL HAS made positive progress in his comeback from the debilitating neck injury which has plagued the last 12 months of his career, and will this week return to team training with Munster.
The Kiwi out-half underwent a second procedure on his neck last March and while Munster expected him to be fit for the start of this season, the medical team have been conservative in their handling of his reintegration back into contact sessions.
Bleyendaal will resume contact training at UL this week. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
Bleyendaal, whose arrival at Munster back in 2015 was delayed due to a similar problem, suffered the injury during the Champions Cup draw with Castres last October, and then sustained a relapse two games into his return in February.
The 28-year-old has been an ever-present around the squad at Munster’s University of Limerick base, as well as running the line on matchdays, and will now make the first significant steps towards a comeback.
While there is no timeline set for Bleyendaal’s potential return to action, today’s news is at least a definite update on his fitness after months of uncertainty over the Christchurch native’s future.
Should Bleyendaal hit the relevant markers in training and become available for selection again, he will provide Johann van Graan with another strong option in the out-half position with Joey Carbery, Ian Keatley, JJ Hanrahan and Bill Johnston already vying for the 10 jersey.
Carbery produced a standout performance on his first start for Munster in Friday’s Guinness Pro14 defeat of Ospreys in Cork, as the province recorded their second bonus-point win of the campaign.
There is, however, concern over the ankle injury sustained by John Ryan in the 49-13 victory, with the tighthead prop now awaiting a scan to determine the extent of the damage.
Stephen Archer was another casualty at Musgrave Park and will undergo the return to play protocols after suffering a concussion against the Welsh region.
Ryan looked in discomfort as he hobbled off on Friday. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO
James Hart, who came on for Duncan Williams in the second half, suffered a knee injury during his cameo and will now be monitored by Munster’s medical department ahead of Friday’s trip to face the Cardiff Blues [KO 7.35pm TG4/eir Sport/Premier Sports].
Billy Holland [ribs] and Neil Cronin [shoulder] remain sidelined with the injuries they sustained in the round two defeat to Glasgow Warriors, while Conor Murray is ‘progressing well’ as he continues to rehab his neck injury.
Kevin O’Byrne [calf], Niall Scannell [shoulder), Liam O’Connor [knee], Conor Oliver [toe], Jack O’Donoghue [knee], Chris Farrell [knee] and Ronan O’Mahony [ankle] remain on the injured list.
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