Conor Murray says the speculation which filled the information gap regarding the injury which has kept him out of action since Ireland’s summer tour of Australia was "crazy".
That it was a neck injury was the only information forthcoming- there was nothing on a likely recovery time.
Suggestions that Murray was keeping a tight lid on the nature of the injury for reasons similar to Jamie Heaslip not disclosing the nature of his career-ending injury were posited. Heaslip said he had never been comfortable with how easily his medical information was given to the public.
Murray says that was not a factor in his rationale.
“The reason we kept it quiet at the start is because we didn’t know what it was,” Murray said at the launch of PINERGY’s #WeAre16 campaign.
That was my whole thinking behind it, it wasn’t ever the whole data protection or me keeping it secret.
It was, ‘Look, I don’t know what this is yet fully, I don’t know when I’m going to be back, so let’s just say I’m managing an injury.’
From my side, I said it to Johann and I said it to Fiona down in Munster, ‘Let’s just keep it here and say I’m managing an injury until we find out how long it’s going to take.’
Murray says he is close to a return to action. However, next month’s November internationals will come too soon for the scrum-half.
“I’m nearly back. I’m doing 90% of training with Munster for the last three weeks or so, doing modified contact on the sideline.
“I think in the next few weeks I’ll be allowed play. I’m itching to play, I’m pretty much fully training and I feel good.
“It’s just making sure it’s right and the lines of communication with Munster, the IRFU, the national coaches, everyone has been clear and they’re happy I just get it right and make sure I come back ready to go, rather than pushing it.
“This isn’t an injury you can push, it’s in my neck and you’ve just to make sure it’s strong enough to come back and play professional rugby.”
Regarding the origin of the injury, the 29-year-old explained:
It’s just the same neck issue I’ve had pretty much. I got a couple of bangs in Australia and a bit of wear and tear basically. I got a bang in each game. In the third game, I probably got my biggest bang and it just flared up over the summer when I was away.
I had to let it settle, obviously the usual scans and things like that, and I had an MRI about four weeks ago. The disc is gone back in, it was just a bulging disk like I’ve had – nothing major.
It’s gone back to where it was, thankfully, and that’s a pretty big step for us, a result that meant we could crack on and wait for the strength to come back. It’s doing that, it’s been a progression all the time, so nearly there.
Despite the gossip which resulted, the Munster man would not change his approach. Through it all, he kept a close circle of family and friends informed about what he knew. There was also the comfort of the new contract which he signed in September. Though, it was not announced until October 10th.
"I was glad I did it in September, while all the rumours [were going around], I knew and my family knew and my friends knew. If any of those rumours were true, they wouldn't have given you a new deal. They knew my medical and where I was with my injury. They knew everything.
“I’m not into data protection. Unless it’s a different medical issue that you need to keep private, but that wasn’t the intention.
“I think ROG spoke about it recently as well. I met him in London at a Munster dinner. That was never the intention. It was ‘I don’t know what this is, I don’t want it out there yet’ because you don’t know what you’re dealing with.
“Then you say it’s a neck injury. But by that stage, those people make up things, people are in a pub and they’re diagnosing you. The rumours were crazy.
“That’s there. That’s been there before. I remember Paulie was injured for over a year. He had bad rumours that people were saying about different health reasons. Just bad rumours.
“That’s the world we’re living in. That will continue for the next fella that does it. If there’s not much clarity around an injury, there’ll be rumours and that’s just the way it is - the way Ireland is, the way most countries are, I suppose. You can’t do anything about it.”
PINERGY today announced that it has teamed up with Munster scrum-half, Conor Murray, for the 2018/2019 season, as part of its innovative #WeAre16 campaign. PINERGY the official energy partner to Munster Rugby will continue its Fan of the Match competition and introduce the new PINERGY POWER PLAYER for the second year of the #WeAre16 campaign. The Fan of the Match will be presented with a match jersey at every home game along with two tickets to the game. Munster fans will have the chance to nominate themselves through PINERGY’S Facebook page before every home game this season.
Picture credits: Sportsfile and INPHO