Kelly was not involved in Munster's last game against Northampton, but his return is very opportune given the injury to Mike Mullins. Mullins is expected to go into a Cork hospital today for surgery on the Achilles injury he sustained last Friday.
Stephen Keogh once again captains the Munster side in an unchanged back-row from the last outing while a decision on who will partner Mick O'Driscoll in the second row will be mad later today (Thurs) after training.
Frank Murphy takes over from Mike Prendergast at scrum-half while Shaun Payne who was originally included in the travelling squad, has been forced to withdraw with a neck strain.
For their part, Leicester Tigers have named an unchanged starting line-up for Friday evening's game. Tigers suffered a 17-22 loss to Connacht, last Friday, but three British & Irish Lions players have been included on an extended replacements' bench for this week.
Munster: Ben Martin, Paul Devlin, John Kelly, Rob Henderson, Mossie Lawlor; Paul Burke, Frank Murphy; Frank Roche, Jerry Flannery, Tony Buckley; AN Other, Mick O'Driscoll; John O'Sullivan, Johnny O'Connor, Stephen Keogh capt.
Replacements (from): Eugene McGovern, Denis Fogarty, Prederico Pucciarello, AN Other, Anthony Foley, Mike Prendergast, Jeremy Manning, Ian Dowling, Trevor Halstead, Brian Touhy, Barry Murphy.
Sam Vesty; Alesana Tuilagi, Dan Hipkiss, Daryl Gibson capt, Tom Varndell; Andy Goode, Harry Ellis; Michael Holford, George Chuter, Alex Moreno; James Hamilton, Leo Cullen; Brett Deacon, Shane Jennings, Will Johnson
Replacements (from): Ephraim Taukafa, Graham Rowntree, Ben Kay, Luke Abraham, Martin Corry, Scott Bemand, Ross Broadfoot, Leon Lloyd, Austin Healey