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Munster sweat on O'Connell injury
ESPN Staff
September 19, 2012
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell, France v Ireland, Six Nations, Stade de France, Paris, France, February 11, 2012
Paul O'Connell looks set for a longer spell on the sidelines © Getty Images

Munster have admitted that they are not sure when Ireland second-row Paul O'Connell will return to action.

O'Connell was penciled in for their match with Ulster last Friday but he failed to make the cut. The former British & Irish Lions captain has been out of action since last May when he sustained a knee injury in their 36-8 win over Ulster at the end of last season.

He did not travel with Ireland on their tour of New Zealand and with Munster set to play their Heineken Cup opener against Racing Metro on October 13, it seems doubtful that O'Connell will make the cut.

"He's making progress, which is great, but there's absolutely no deadline date for him to return," Munster boss Rob Penney told the Irish Independent. "He's in a programme but there's no set guidelines on when he'll be back to play. If it takes a month it takes a month, two months then two months. It'll be what it'll be.

"It's probably a week-to-week thing. We've had a lot of discussions. When Paul feels like he's ready he'll be back on the grass. For me, to see the guy playing at the highest level at 100% would be a wonderful thing, and being consistent in his ability to play at every level at 100%, so the pragmatic view comes on the back of those things.

"It's very simple really - if you care for your players then those sorts of decisions about their welfare are no-brainers."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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