Conor Murray belatedly left the field against Wales in the Six Nations in March owing to a shoulder injury, sustained when Lions captain Sam Warburton crushed it in a collision. After the game, it was diagnosed as a stinger injury, but hopes were that Murray would be fit to face England a week later. That proved not to be the case, and Kieran Marmion replaced the Munster man for the final international of the season.
Murray was then a late withdrawal ahead of Munster's Champions Cup quarter-final with Toulouse, with Rassie Erasmus holding out some hope that Murray's shoulder would be recovered in time for Saturday's semi-final with Saracens. A pessimistic injury update was issued by Munster this week: Murray had still not completed any contact work since his shoulder injury, leaving him as a doubt for this weekend's game.
With Murray's absence now much longer than those usually associated with a stinger injury, Lions coach Warren Gatland has revealed to the Irish Independent that Murray will miss this weekend's game, with the injury complicated with a nerve issue. Gatland said that Murray had seen a neurologist over a neck injury following a setback in training a couple of weeks ago. Gatland said that Murray would have to prove his fitness ahead of the Lions tour.
He’s got a nerve issue. I spoke to the doctor yesterday. He was hoping to be fit this week. He had a setback a couple of weeks ago. He’s going to need to play before he gets on the plane. That’s going to be important for us. I would be reluctant to take someone to New Zealand with a neck injury who hasn’t played. His last game was against Wales, on March 10.
He’s incredibly fit. It’s causing him a bit of discomfort and a bit of weakness in his arm, and hopefully he’s going to be right in a couple of weeks – the neurologist is confident he’s going to be OK.
An odd one that Gatland is providing more clarity on Irish rugby injuries that anyone else.