Belfast Telegraph

Heineken Cup: Chris Henry an injury worry for Ulster

By Niall Crozier

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin is keeping fingers crossed that his ‘most consistent' player makes Saturday's massive Heineken Cup semi-final clash with Edinburgh in Dublin's Aviva Stadium.

Open-side Chris Henry picked up a shin injury in Friday night’s 16-8 Pro12 Ravenhill defeat by European champions Leinster.

An X-ray showed no signs of serious damage, but the flanker is in some pain which could make him a doubt for Ulster's most important match since winning the European Cup in 1999.

“We’re just going to have to wait and see. Chris has been our most consistent player in my three years in charge here and we want to give him every chance,” McLaughlin said, just as he did when an ankle strain suffered by Stephen Ferris nine days before the quarter-final clash with Munster threatened to rule him out of that Thomond Park classic.

Ferris came through, produced a man of the match performance and afterwards Ulster admitted that there had been “some smoke and mirrors on our part in perhaps over-stating the seriousness of the injury”.

The news on centre Paddy Wallace, who was substituted after feeling sick as a result of a hefty tackle, is encouraging.

McLaughlin confirmed: “Paddy is fine. His jaw is OK, there’s no damage done.”

A third injured player, Pedrie Wannenburg, said immediately after the Leinster match that he expected to be fit despite picking up a groin injury.

McLaughlin shares the South African’s optimism. “Pedrie’s a wee bit stiff and sore but we’re not too worried about him,” he said. “But the one we do have some concern over is Chris Henry. Concerned but hopeful.”

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