Munster have confirmed that Joey Carbery will not be available for an indefinite period of time after suffering a further setback in his return from injury.
The Ireland international was set to miss the restart of the Guinness Pro 14 season this weekend but it had been hoped he would be back in September.
Munster revealed that following a meeting with the specialist, the 24-year-old has been advised to take further steps in rehabilitating his ankle, and to delay his return to rugby.
Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan said: "As disappointing as the latest news is, we have Joey at the centre of it all, going through this, and doing everything right in making sure that when he returns to the pitch he stays on the pitch.
"That’s what we all want at the end of this, and undoubtedly it has been a tough blow for him, but he has shown great resilience already and will do everything that’s asked of him for this next phase also.
"A serious injury like his can heal in different ways and now that we’re moving into the return to rugby stage the ankle isn’t where it should be in hitting those next markers."
Joey Carbery added: "It’s an incredibly frustrating time at the moment, but I am making good progress over the last couple of weeks.
"Even though the ankle isn’t where it needs to be just yet, I’ve full confidence it will heal and be pain-free soon, and I will be back better than ever. I just need time right now.
"I’d like to say thank you to the IRFU and Munster for their continued support and for having my back throughout it all.
"I’d also like to thank my girlfriend Robyn and my family for always being there when I need them.
"Lastly, to the fans, I’m so excited to get back out in front of you guys. It’s going to be such an exciting season ahead and I cannot wait to see where we can go as a squad. Hopefully, we will all be back in Thomond Park soon together."
Munster also confirmed that Tadhg Beirne has resumed team training this week following a low-grade leg injury.
Munster face Leinster at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday August 22nd as the Guinness Pro14 makes its return.
Everyone’s in the Team Of Us.
Vodafone. The Official Sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team.