Peter O’Mahony has endured a torrid season with injury.
The Munster captain suffered a devastating knee injury in Ireland’s win over France at last year’s Rugby World Cup which resulted in him missing the entire season with the southern province.
O’Mahony has been forced to watch from the sidelines as Munster go through one of their worst seasons in history.
“I am the club captain and I have been supporting Munster a long time [so] it has been tough the last few weeks. We had a great win [against Edinburgh] last week it was a good performance but, from one point of view, it probably added about 10 years onto my life, that last six minutes.
“We have a big game weekend ahead of us now, big training session tomorrow.”
O’Mahony however is hopeful that he will return this summer, in green for Ireland.
The backrow said he is ‘very, very close’ to full training and reveals when a decision will be made on him touring South Africa this summer.
“I won’t say ‘never’ but I will have to make a decision over the next 10 days, see what the story is. I have been given every opportunity but I am just going to see how training goes over those next 10 days and make a call on the rest of the season then.
“I am a rugby player, touring is one of the best parts of rugby and I love to be able to tour. Any tour you get to go on is always great craic, whether it is a World Cup whether is captaining a squad to America, they have always been great memories.
“I have never been to South Africa, it is a place I’d love to go and, obviously, the fact we have never won there… it would be lovely to go and have a nice tour and be in with a chance to set history.
“Of course I’d love to go but I have to take other things into account not just my heart. My head wants to go but I’ll just have to see whether my body will allow me to go.