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Munster's Keith Earls, Doug Howlett & Donncha O'Callaghan battle for fitness

Updated: Tuesday, 16 Apr 2013 16:05 | Comments

Keith Earls (l) and Donncha O'Callaghan are battling to regain fitness
Keith Earls (l) and Donncha O'Callaghan are battling to regain fitness

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Munster coach Rob Penney has a number of injury concerns ahead of the forthcoming Heineken Cup semi-final.

Munster will face Clermont-Auvergne in Montpellier on 27 April.

Keith Earls is still recovering from the shoulder injury he picked up in Ireland's final Six Nations game against Italy in Rome but may return to action against Dragons in the PRO12 on Friday night.

Captain Doug Howlett has an injured shoulder and is a big doubt for the clash with Clermont on 27 April.

Second-row Donncha O'Callaghan picked up a knee injury in the loss to Leinster on Saturday night and the two-time European champions will wait for a further medical update later in the week.

It is possible O'Callaghan could be out of action for up to four weeks.

Speaking to ERC Rugby, Penney said last week's defeat to Leinster was a real comedown after the Harlequins victory.

"We came off a massive emotional high over the last ten days, building into the Harlequins game and then a six-day turnaround for the lads to get back on the horse and perform,

"Yes, we could go back and pick out some errors and some little turning point moments but the attitude was there, the commitment to the jersey and the province was there.

"It was just a tight game in which we didn't take some opportunities, they took theirs and that's the difference. The game could have gone either way."

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