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Munster's John O'Sullivan
Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Dowling, O'Sullivan & Lawlor on the mend.
1 January 2008, 10:08 am
By Pat Geraghty
As Munster start to crank up for the Magners League restart in mid-February and the subsequent games against Cardiff Blues, Ulster and Connacht, three players are set to return from injury in that period.
Ian Dowling who was stretchered off in the game against Connacht at Musgrave Park was fortunate that the knee injury wasn't as serious as first feared and he expects to get back to full training either next week or the week after. Obviously, whether or not he can be considered for the trip to Edinburgh depends very much on when the Munster fitness people consider him ready to resume full training but at this stage an involvement at Murrayfield remains a possibilty. Dowling was winning his 48th competitive Munstercap the evening he was injured and was in such form that he would surely have been included in the Ireland A side for the game against England in Welford Road.

Also due to return from long term injury is John O'Sullivan who has been out of action since damaging a cruciate in the seasonal opener against the US Eagles at Chicago's Toyota Park in August. Such was O'Sullivan's application to his rehab that he is ahead of schedule and is expected to be back in full training by the end of February or very early March.

Mossie Lawlor who won his 69th cap that day in Toyota Park at full back went on to play in the friendlies against Saracens and Viadana but is another who has been dogged by injury. He, like O'Sullivan is looking at an end of Ferbruary return from the groin strain that has had him sidelined these past weeks.No ALT tag specified

Another welcome face back on the training pitch is that of Paul O'Connell who is in camp with the international squad and according to IRFU Media Manager Karl Richardson making good progress. O'Connell pictured (right with Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll earlier this week) is taking part in light training with the Ireland squad as they prepare for the upcoming RBS Six Nations.

Meanwhile Munster are set to announce the appointment of a new Munster Academy Manager to replace Hamish Adams. Adams who had been the Academy Manager since it's inception in Aug 2004 has moved to take up a role as Player Services Advisor with IRUPA. Speaking of his departure Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said, "Hamish has done an excellent job in setting up the structures for our Academy and bringing it to a level that has produced home grown players capable of representing Munster and Ireland. We thank him for his contribution and wish him well in his new position."

Former Elite Player Development Officer (Munster) Ian Sherwin will take over from Adams subject to ratification.

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