With the clock ticking down towards their Heineken Cup semi-final clash with Edinburgh on April 28, Ulster are awaiting a consultant’s findings on the extent of Paul Marshall’s arm injury.
The scrum-half suffered what is believed to have been soft tissue damage in diving over to score the first of Ulster’s two tries in Saturday evening’s 26-21 RaboDirect PRO12 defeat by Connacht in Galway.
Marshall landed on his right elbow and was withdrawn immediately, with Ruan Pienaar taking over five minutes before half-time.
Contrary to earlier reports, Marshall did not have a post-match x-ray in Galway and the fact that Ulster’s medics were happy to wait before sending him for a scan yesterday confirmed that they did not believe there to be a serious problem.
Bruising, swelling and considerable pain, yes, but no concerns over broken bones or damage to the arm's tendons, ligaments or cartilage.
If they are right and the injury is purely muscular, the recovery time will be relatively short.
Following yesterday's scan the diminutive pivot showed up at the afternoon’s training session at Newforge, where, ironically, Gareth Robinson — who treated him in the wake of Saturday’s painful injury — was an absentee.
Having been unwell overnight the Ulster physiotherapist was missing as Marshall looked on while his colleagues went through their defensive routines with coach Jonathan Bell.
Captain Johann Muller also oversaw lineout work in preparation for Friday night’s PRO12 meeting with Leinster at Ravenhill.
Significantly, Marshall's arm was neither in a sling nor was it supported in any way.
With a consultant required to read the scan, Ulster were hoping for a prognosis later today.