RG Snyman’s hopes of getting fit for the upcoming British & Irish Lions series may not be dashed if Munster have anything to do with it.
Snyman was in the final stages of his rehab after tearing his ACL only minutes into his PRO14 debut last August.
However, the Springbok suffered a setback this week after it was confirmed that he would need to undergo a minor procedure on an unrelated injury.
The 26-year-old will consult with a knee specialist this week, but the procedure is expected to delay his return to training for a number of weeks, putting him in a race to prove his fitness for the Lions series.
Munster are unable to put an exact timeline on his potential return, but South African defence coach JP Ferreira was optimistic Snyman would be able to make a successful comeback, even if it is in the green and gold.
‘He was close, no denying that. He was really close,’ Ferreira said in a media conference on Wednesday. ‘He was so close that he was doing defensive hits with me and he was coming off it really looking good.’
Ferreira sympathised with the timing of Snyman’s latest setback, but added that Munster are in constant contact with SA Rugby over the lock’s status and are committed to getting him back on the field.
‘[SA Rugby] have [made contact] and we’ve got an open relationship with them and we’re keeping them in the loop, so if he has to make his return in a Springbok jumper then so be it. If he has to make his return in a Munster jumper, so be it.
‘I wouldn’t say it throws a spanner in the works, we’ve been without him for nine months but regarding that feeling of getting him back and the excitement around that, obviously yes. He’s ready to go and he wants to get on the pitch but look, these things happen.
‘It’s not just because what happened to his knee, sometimes you get niggles off the operation, things like that, so it’s a waiting game. You don’t want to get on the pitch and 20 minutes later get off the pitch with another injury, so we’re going with full precaution to get him right and hopefully we can see him at the end of the season.
‘But it’s not just that, it’s not just getting him ready for the end of the season. I know there’s the British & Irish Lions tour that’s coming up and then getting him ready for next season, really.
‘So, if he’s here before the end of the season, awesome. If he’s not, well we’re going to do everything in our ability to get him ready for whatever’s next on his list.’
Snyman was part of the Springboks’ four 2019 World Cup-winning locks, along with Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert and Lood de Jager. The Springboks could already be without De Jager’s services for the tour, after the Sale Sharks player broke his leg in a freak training session accident.
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