Ireland utility back Keith Earls has been ruled out for a number of weeks with a torn groin muscle, ensuring he will miss Munster’s Heineken Cup curtain-raiser against Racing Metro on Saturday.
Earls, 25, has been in impressive form in the RaboDirect PRO12 so far this season, helping Munster to fifth in the table ahead of the first break for European action.
He also shone for Munster in their defeat to Irish rivals Leinster last time out but it was there that he picked up the injury while South African prop Wian du Preez picked up a knee problem and will also miss out in Paris.
“Earls (groin) saw a specialist this afternoon and will be out for a number of weeks and Du Preez who injured a knee in the game against Leinster, sees a specialist tomorrow when a time frame on his absence can be better established," said a Munster statement.
There was better news from the Munster treatment table however, with the club confirming that flanker Niall Ronan, who missed out against Leinster, is back in training but he is unlikely to feature at the weekend.
The statement continued: “Niall Ronan, who was a late withdrawal from the squad for the Leinster game, did train today but didn't take a full part and is unlikely to be in consideration for the Racing game.”