Munster look light at loosehead with Cronin out for up to 8 weeks

MUNSTER HAVE BEEN dealt a blow with the news that James Cronin is set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

The 26-year-old prop underwent surgery on Sunday and is expected to be out of action for between six and eight weeks.

With South African prop Thomas du Toit having left the province following the completion of his loan spell and Dave Kilcoyne called into Ireland’s Six Nations squad, it leaves Munster looking a little light at loosehead.

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That said, Jack McGrath and Cian Healy have been picked ahead of Kilcoyne in the Ireland matchday squads recently, meaning he may well be available for Munster’s rearranged Pro12 clash with Edinburgh on Friday 3 February.

Peter McCabe – who plays on both sides of the scrum – is currently on loan at Connacht, meaning academy prop Brian Scott – another who can cover loosehead but is predominantly a tighthead – may provide cover behind Kilcoyne.

Cronin is not the only injury worry for the province, who overcame Racing in the Champions Cup at the weekend.

Dave Foley picked up a wrist injury in the Munster A game against Saracens in Allianz Park on Friday night and will now seek specialist opinion.

Meanwhile, academy number 8 Gavin Coombes is also under medical review after suffering a shoulder injury.

The province’s other current absentees are detailed below.

Unavailable: Darren Sweetnam (knee), Robin Copeland (thumb), Sam Arnold (knee), Alex Wootton (shoulder), Sean McCarthy (knee), Mark Chisholm (concussion), Duncan Casey (knee), Mike Sherry (back), Cathal Sheridan (ankle).

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