Good wishes flood in for rugby star Chris Henry sidelined by blood blockage in brain
Ulster and Irish rugby fans are hoping international star Chris Henry makes a full and speedy recovery after a shock diagnosis showed he was suffering from a brain ailment.
The 30-year-old player from Belfast is currently resting at home and was described by Irish rugby bosses as "well".
Rugby chiefs said the player's condition needs "further investigation and specialist opinion".
An Irish Rugby Football Union statement said: "Chris suffered some weakness on the morning of the South Africa game and a viral illness was suspected. He recovered quickly and the initial diagnosis was of severe migraine.
"Further tests, however, have shown he suffered a temporary blockage of a small blood vessel in his brain. He is at home now and is well, but needs further investigation and specialist opinion."
Ulster Rugby tweeted to their 70,000 followers that they wished him "a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back playing for Ulster soon."
Also on Twitter, Charlotte McCarthy summed up the thoughts of rugby fans across the island of Ireland and beyond when she said: "Poor Chris Henry. Hope it's not too serious".
Henry is facing a lengthy lay-off following the diagnosis, although Ireland and Ulster officials are confident that he will be able to resume his rugby career in a number of months.
Chris Henry was born in Belfast in 1984 and played for Ulster Schools and was also captain of the Irish Schools team before playing for Ireland in the Under-20 World Cup in 2004.
He made his Ulster senior debut six years ago and went on to become Ulster Player of the Year in 2010. He helped Ulster reach the 2012 Heineken Cup final and this year he was part of Ireland's Six Nations Championship-winning team.
Henry had missed the final three matches of the 2013 Six Nations campaign due to a knee injury.
However, the back-row player started in all of Ireland's Six Nations matches this year as they clinched the title and brought his caps haul to 16 by playing in both summer Tests against Argentina.
With Sean O'Brien currently out of action, Henry looked to have a strong chance of holding onto his Ireland starting role in 2015. Previously he had struggled to maintain a regular team place because of the form of O'Brien and Peter O'Mahony.
His lengthy absence will also be a big blow for Ulster as they attempt to put better results together after their poor start to the European campaign.
Chris Henry landed his first Ireland cap against Australia in June 2010 by which time he was already regularly captain of Ulster and had just been named their player of the year. He started in all of Ireland's Six Nations games this year, helping set up a crucial try in the championship-clinching victory over France in Paris to ensure hero status. He has previously suffered a knee injury.