Conor Murray back in the reckoning for Munster

Scrumhalf has been out for four weeks with a knee injury, Simon Zebo also back in training

Munster scrumhalf Conor Murray  is  on the road to recovery. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Munster scrumhalf Conor Murray is on the road to recovery. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Mon, Jan 6, 2014, 14:09

Munster should be able to call on scrumhalf Conor Murray for the resumption of their Heineken Cup campaign against Gloucester at Kingholm on Saturday.

The scrumhalf will return to training this week, along with wing Simon Zebo, after a month on the sidelines nursing an knee injury sustained against Perpignan four weeks ago. Zebo is back after a 12-week absence brought about by a cracked bone in his foot.

“There is a chance (Murray will be involved versus Gloucester),” said head coach Rob Penney today. “Always was. Hopefully, everything being equal, and the work that’s being done by the medical team behind the scene comes to fruition this week.”

Lock Donncha O’Callaghan, who came off 30 minutes into the defeat to Ulster on Friday, “is expected to take part in training this week”, while the condition of Cathal Sheridan (knee) and hooker Damien Varley (foot) will be clearer after scans today and a meeting with a specialist.

James Downey (irritated groin), Keith Earls (bruised shoulder) and Seán Dougall (ankle sprain) are also expected back at some stage this week, as are James Cronin (lower back) and JJ Hanrahan (groin), who will “be monitored as the week progresses”.

Munster are top of Pool Six, five points ahead of Gloucester having beaten the English side at home and won, home and away, against Perpignan. Their only defeat came in the opening week against Edinburgh.

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