The out-half will miss Saturday's big home Champions Cup clash with holders Saracens at Thomond Park

Tyler Bleyendaal has not suffered a recurrence of the serious neck injury that sidelined him for his first season at Munster but "will be given all the time he needs" to recover from a fresh problem, according to Reds boss Johann van Graan.

As Munster confirmed yesterday, the out-half will miss Saturday's big home Champions Cup clash with holders Saracens at Thomond Park and with Joey Carbery not due to return until the PRO14 encounter with Leinster at the end of the month, there's a big responsibility on JJ Hanrahan to deliver.

"Joey has started a bit of running but he hasn't trained with the team yet," explained van Graan in Limerick this afternoon.

"The ankle is improving but we'll take it by the week and hopefully by the end of the month, we'll have him back.

"Tyler had some stiffness two weeks ago and after further investigation there is a new injury but with his history we will treat it conservatively and give him all the time he needs.

"The most important thing is Tyler himself as a man after rugby and hopefully he can get on the field pretty soon."

Munster will also be down two in-form looseheads with Jeremy Loughman and Dave Kilcoyne injured.

"Jeremy will not have surgery so in that sense he has had a good week but it will be a few weeks yet for him," said van Graan.

"Dave Kilcoyne is itching to get running as he hasn't been involved since the World Cup but it is a bit off for both players."

Nevertheless van Graan is itching to get going, despite the stakes being raised by the thrilling home draw against Racing 92 two weekends ago.

Munster can hardly afford not to win another home pool game in this difficult group.

"I enjoy the pressure, it's why you're in the game for weeks like this," said the South African, whose side lost to Sarries in the semi-finals last year - and two years previous to that as well.

"It's a different challenge every week. It's really like Test match rugby, like the series games I used to have with the national teams so I'm really enjoying it.

"Every area is a key area for them. Seventeen of their players went to a World Cup, nine were involved in a World Cup final a few weeks ago.

"There's a lot of continuity, lineout threats from (Maro)Itoje, George Kruis. Ball-carriers and scrum. They have a good kicking game off 9 and 10.

"They really suffocate you and force mistakes. They are really good straight after half-time. They were 12-9 ahead last season but kept the ball for so many phases, 21 or 22, after the restart and scored a try.

"They've built an impressive squad with a great coaching squad and that's why they're European champions." Van Graan is hoping that famed Munster support will provide an advantage.

"The fans are always brilliant whether we are in Cork or Thomond Park," he said. "The crowd were incredible the last day with a full house. We'll have extra setting this weekend and it will be incredible again.

"If you draw up a bucket list of things to do in the world of sport, being in Thomond for a European match would definitely be on the list.

"And it's a huge challenge against the European champions. It doesn't matter which one is first at home, we've had it at like this the last few years. Both teams want to win wherever the game is.

"Physicality is never a problem for Munster teams. But Saracens bring 23 players who have physicality. Last season they brought on Vincent Koch, a World Cup winner, (Will) Skelton and Schalk Burger".

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