The hopes of Ireland and British Lions flanker Stephen Ferris making Ulster’s Magners League semi-final with Leinster on Friday night have ended as he has now been ruled out for the season.
The news adds to a litany of injury problems ahead of the make or break clash for Ulster’s season at Dublin’s RDS.
Ferris hasn’t seen any action since a knee injury picked up in the Heineken Cup victory at Aironi in January.
But it’s not all bad news as Ulster’s Ruan Pienaar was named Magners League Player of the Season by his fellow players.
Ferris will now continue his rehab in conjunction with his surgeons and the IRFU medical team in a bid to get him fit for Ireland’s four warm-up games in August aimed towards making the autumn World Cup in New Zealand.
South African prop BJ Botha is also likely to miss Friday night’s game with a knee injury picked up in the league defeat at the same venue in April.
Andrew Trimble and Paddy Wallace remain sidelined after both fractured thumbs in the same game against Leinster.
Flanker Willie Faloon’s season has been cut short, too, by a shoulder injury in training and he will go under the knife on Thursday.
Lock Dan Tuohy is the latest worry. The Irish second row damaged a hamstring as Ulster clinched their semi-final place in Friday’s win over Newport Dragons.
Tuohy will undergo an MRI scan today to determine the extent of the problem but is a major doubt for the trip to the RDS.