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I just have to shoulder this burden now.. MUNSTER v ULSTER, 6PM.

Byline: JOHN FALLON

MUNSTER hooker Mike Sherry says he will have to manage a shoulder injury for the rest of his playing days.

The perils of professional rugby saw another career end early this week when 28-year old full-back Felix Jones was forced to retire.

Sherry is a year younger than the unfortunate Jones and came close himself to having his career ended with a shoulder injury which ruled him out for 21 months.

He is back in action this season and ran in two tries in the home win over Cardiff Blues last time out but the Limerick man knows he is one of the lucky ones.

"For myself, the recovery has to be exactly spot on. I need to plan my weekends very carefully after a game, there's no resting around like I did when I was a young fella and I didn't have so many bangs and bruises," said Sherry.

"The strength and conditioning people, the physios, the coaches, they know my situation and know how to manage me. I can take part in everything except every now and then, I have to alter a few things to suit my shoulder.

"Pool work, ice work, rehab, resting... all that kind of stuff. I am given a programme and I follow it very strictly.

"It is something I will have to look after for the rest of my career. It's not that there's a weakness there, it's the same strength as the other shoulder, but there are certain exercises in the gym I'm unable to do.

"Someone with a bad knee wouldn't squat, they alter their exercises, me with a shoulder, I wouldn't do chin ups, simple things like that."

He is enjoying his rugby and just grateful that his injury nightmare is over, not least as he saw friend and rival Damien Varley have to call a halt to his career last season and then this week Jones (inset) having to bow out, Sherry doesn't want to waste a moment and is looking forward to this evening's clash with Ulster at Thomond Park.

The Reds are looking to bounce back after losing their winning start in Llanelli last weekend.

"We don't want to lose one game, not to mention two in a row," added Sherry. "I thought we played quite well at Scarlets. With a few bits and bobs we could have closed out the game a bit better.

"Now we have Ulster and it would be a big fillip for them to beat us at Thomond Park. Last season there were kicks in both games for us to draw and for them to win so it's always tight.

"There are Irish places going, you want to look good against your opposition to try and get up to camp so, yeah, there's a lot riding on it, definitely."

Simon Zebo returns to action in one of seven changes, with James Cronin and Sherry coming into the front row, while Dave Foley starts in the second row and Jack O'Donoghue begins at openside. In the backs, Tomas O'Leary makes his first start since returning from London Irish, with former All Black Francis Saili back at outside centre.

MUNSTER: A Conway; S Zebo, F Saili, D Hurley, G van den Heever; I Keatley, T O'Leary; J Cronin, M Sherry, BJ Botha; D Foley, M Chisholm; CJ Stander, J O'Donoghue, R Copeland. Replacements: D Casey, J Ryan, M Sagario, D Ryan, J Coghlan, D Williams, R Scannell, R O'Mahony.

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GOING STRONG Mike Sherry

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 30, 2015
Words:585
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