Ireland international Joey Carbery's return to action has been delayed after a meeting with a specialist to ascertain the rehabilitation period for his ankle injury.

The Munster out-half underwent ankle surgery in February and was subsequently ruled out for the season, having already been sidelined by a wrist injury that had kept him out of the 2020 Six Nations.

Munster confirmed that the 24-year-old will be out "for an indefinite period of time", adding that he has been advised to "take further steps in rehabilitating his ankle".

"It's an incredibly frustrating time at the moment, but I am making good progress over the last couple of weeks," said Carbery.

"Even though the ankle isn’t where it needs to be just yet, I’ve full confidence it will heal and be pain-free soon, and I will be back better than ever. I just need time right now."

Munster head coach Johann van Graan confirmed that he had spoken to Carbery about the situation, along with Ireland head coach Andy Farrell and IRFU performance director David Nucifora.

Johann van Graan

"As disappointing as the latest news is, we have Joey at the centre of it all, going through this, and doing everything right in making sure that when he returns to the pitch he stays on the pitch," he said.

"That's what we all want at the end of this, and undoubtedly it has been a tough blow for him, but he has shown great resilience already and will do everything that's asked of him for this next phase also.

"A serious injury like his can heal in different ways and now that we’re moving into the return to rugby stage, the ankle isn’t where it should be in hitting those next markers.

"David, Andy and I spoke with Joey last week and all want what’s best for him. We know his standing in the province and Irish rugby and how important he is to us all. Our priority is to look after him. He is a young man with huge sporting talent and a bright future, we are here to support Joey at every stage giving him the time he needs.

"There is a lot of rugby to be played in the coming season and we look forward to welcoming Joey back when he is fully recovered."

Meanwhile, Munster confirmed that Ireland second row Tadhg Beirne has made a return to training following an ankle injury.

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