Munster wing Doug Howlett out for remainder of season

Doug Howlett has helped Munster earn two opening Heineken Cup wins
Doug Howlett scores a try in the recent Heineken Cup win over Castres

Munster wing Doug Howlett will miss the remainder of this season after scans revealed that he sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon in last weekend's Pro12 defeat by the Ospreys.

The New Zealander will undergo surgery on Wednesday and is expected to be out of action for at least six months.

First up, Howlett will miss Saturday's Heineken Cup game against the Scarlets.

Other Munster backs Keith Earls and Felix Jones are also currently ruled out by injury.

Earls has been out of action for a month because of a knee injury while Jones is still ruled out by the foot injury which forced him to withdraw from Ireland's World Cup squad.

Munster face the Scarlets away on Saturday before the return game at Thomond Park on 18 December.

Earls is expected to return to training next week and could be available for the clash against the Scarlets in Limerick.

Peter Borlase (back) and Dave O'Callaghan (knee) could return to action in the British & Irish Cup game against Ayr in Tralee on Saturday.

Prop John Ryan (groin) is looking at a return to training in three weeks with Mike Sherry (ankle) expected to be out for another six weeks.

Felix Jones and David Wallace continue their rehab with expected return around February while Jerry Flannery is looking towards a New Year return.

Darragh Hurley continues to be dogged by injury.

Having recovered from an Achilles injury, Hurley has since been troubled by a disc in his back that could see him sidelined for a further three months.

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