Belfast Telegraph

Ulster suffer Jean Deysel injury blow ahead of Munster crunch tie

By Adam McKendry

Ulster head coach Jono Gibbes confirmed fans' worst fears after revealing flanker Jean Deysel will miss Saturday's Guinness PRO14 meeting with Munster due to a knee injury.

Deysel had to be helped off the pitch midway through the first half of Ulster's 36-15 win over Glasgow Warriors last Saturday night, and Gibbes today revealed he will not make the trip to his former stomping ground Thomond Park because of it.

The burly back row had hit a purple patch of form in Ulster's last three games, adding some excellent work at the breakdown to some physical carries in the loose that the province hoped to see when they signed him after his release from Munster in the off-season.

"Jean has continued our 'good luck'," Gibbes lamented. "He's done something to his knee that's significant enough to take him out of selection this week, which is disappointing because he's been a big contributor in the last few weeks."

Also on the medical table is scrum-half John Cooney, who could miss the journey to Limerick this weekend from which Ulster have to take five points to stand any chance of reaching the end-of-season play-offs.

"Cooney was just withdrawn at half-time, wasn't feeling particularly great so they're just monitoring him, they're following HIA protocols," Gibbes revealed. "I'm not sure it's an HIA, they're just taking it easy with him, but yeah, we'll have a look at him later in the week.

"To be honest, we're a bit banged up, we've had a pretty light day today. Thursday will be our main hit-out and we've left a few guys off their feet on purpose at the start of the week, just to give us a bit of time to assess and rebuild a bit of energy. I think Saturday's effort was pretty taxing for the guys."

There will be one returnee for Saturday's game (kick-off 5:35pm), however, as winger Craig Gilroy comes back into the equation after his return from suspension.

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