Flanker David Wallace is set to return from his injury hell after he was named in the Munster squad for Sunday’s re-arranged RaboDirect PRO12 tie away to Aironi.
A serious knee injury in a pre-World Cup Test match against England last August ended his dreams of heading to New Zealand and the flanker hasn't been included in a matchday squad since.
That good news for Tony McGahan couldn't be more timely after knee injuries to Paul O'Connell and Conor Murray in Ireland's 17-17 Six Nations draw with France ruled the pair out for six and three weeks respectively and lock Dave Foley is doubtful after sustained a dislocated shoulder against the Dragons.
Wallace has 200 appearances for Munster and stand-in Munster captain Mick O'Driscoll insisted the 35-year-old return could prove invaluable as Munster look to push for back-to-back titles.
O’Driscoll told the Limerick Leader: “It is of course great to have him back in the squad. Never mind the fact that he’s a class player, to see him recovered from what was a serious injury, to have him back involved, is just a great boost to us all coming at such a crucial point in the season.
“Its always a difficult time with lads away (international duty) and points at this stage are so crucial. People say there are no trophies given out in March And they’re right. But you can lose trophies at this stage of a season. That’s why the win last weekend in Wales was so important.
“Now we need to back that up in Italy. We’ve virtually the same squad, a few additions like Simon (Zebo) and Denis (Hurley) and of course Wally.
“And that’s important too because there were a lot of bruised bodies after the last game.”