Paul O'Connell continued his return from a back injury when he played his first eighty minutes of rugby since October for his club side Young Munster on Saturday afternoon.
The Munster second-row made his comeback in an interpro friendly for Munster A against their Leinster counterparts last Tuesday and continued his recovery in his side's injury time defeat against Cork Constitution.
O'Connell put in a commanding shift and dominated at the line out after wining ten of Young Munster's throw ins. He showed no ill effects of the injury that kept him out of the game for over four months and was delighted with the progress in which he had made since his return. Afterwards he spoke with Balls.ie:
I felt very sluggish at the start in the first half but in the second half I got going. There were a lot of scrums and line outs and those things really do test the back, it was great from that point of view. I haven't had any reactions today and nothing on Tuesday as well so I'm fairly confident at the moment.
When asked about his chances of being fit in time for Munster's Heineken Cup Quarter Final against Harlequins in three weeks, O'Connell was optimistic about his chances:
It wasn't really the plan to play 120 minutes of rugby this week but I have a few days to recover and repair the body. Its three weeks now until Harlequins and it's possible to do it. If we were closer to that game, it's not something we'd be doing because you'd be draining the energy. But this is the time to do it and I'll have plenty of time to recover.
Munster have two Rabo Direct league games before their trip to The Stoop and O'Connell is hoping to be involved in both:
I'd like to be involved in the two games. I know Donnacha Ryan is carrying a few injuries up in Dublin so he might need a bit of time off. Hopefully when he comes back I can get in there and get some game time.
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