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Marcell Coetzee to miss Zebre clash but Ulster welcome back summer signings

By Gareth Hanna

Ulster's Marcell Coetzee will not play any part in this weekend's trip to Italy to take on Zebre.

The flanker missed Ulster's victories over Scarlets and Dragons with a knee problem and was expected to be fit for this weekend's game. However, scrum coach Aaron Dundon has confirmed that the South African is not yet ready for action.

"He's still got a slight problem with his knee but hopefully he will be back in the picture next week," said Dundon.

Ulster will welcome back Jean Deysel from an eye injury while Christian Leali'ifano and John Cooney are expected to return after they were rested for the Dragons victory. Luke Marshall also returns to the panel.

Coetzee has had two series knee injury injuries in recent seasons but Ulster are adamant that his current problem will not keep him on the sidelines for long.

"It's a tough one with Marcell," conceded Dundon, when asked why his return date has again been pushed back. "It's week by week management of it. Honestly, I don't think he's far away. He trained last week and he got through it pretty well.

"We've got four big games coming up so we've got to be sure we get him fit for those games."

Jared Payne will also sit out this weekend's game but Dundon is hopeful the 31 year-old will return for the home game against Connacht on Friday October 6.

Iain Henderson had told the Belfast Telegraph that he was excited to finally link up with Coetzee as the pair have never been part of the same line-up in over a year as Ulster team-mates. 

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