Only just back in action following an injury-hit 2019, Carbery quickly returned to the sidelines after a scan on a wrist injury sustained in the Guinness PRO14 defeat to Ulster last Friday left him requiring an operation earlier this week to mend a damaged ligament.
Ireland open their Six Nations with a February 1 home game versus Scotland and it was hoped Carbery would be available as first-choice Johnny Sexton has not been available to Leinster since an early December knee injury. However, Carbery has now joined his positional rival on the sidelines.
“That’s rugby, I’m gutted for Joey as an individual,” said Munster boss Johann van Graan at a media conference in Limerick on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup trip to Racing.
“I care about the players and speaking to him on Monday afternoon when we got the news, obviously it’s not nice news for him.
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“He worked hard to get back into the position, he played the full 80 for the first time for quite a while and now he is out for a considerable amount of time.
“That’s rugby, that’s life. He’ll be back, he’s a class man and a brilliant rugby player. He’ll come back stronger, take his time and I can’t wait to have him back in the future.”
Before van Grann confirmed Carbery was out of the selection picture for Andy Farrell’s first Six Nations in charge of Ireland and could face a four-month lay-off, the out-half had taken to Instagram to outline his disappointment.
“Devastation doesn’t even describe how I’m feeling,” he wrote. “Thanks for all the well wishes. Been a tough couple of months physically and mentally, and thought I was in the clear. But will be back soon, better than ever.”
Carbery’s start for Munster at the Kingspan Stadium was his first in his province’s No10 shirt since their May 2019 PRO14 semi-final loss to Leinster in Dublin.
He was stretchered away from Ireland’s World Cup warm-up win over Italy last August and while he made it back to make three appearances off the bench at the finals in Japan, he returned to Limerick with an aggravation of his ankle injury that only recently come right.
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