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Ulster's back line worries mount as James Hume to see specialist

Ulster’s James Hume
Ulster’s James Hume

Ulster's back line has been dealt another injury blow ahead of the PRO14 clash with Zebre on Friday evening.

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The province has issued a new injury update to confirm only that James Hume will see a specialist over the hamstring injury sustained during the opening stages of last weekend's win over Cardiff Blues and to say that Stuart McCloskey's shoulder problem is the subject of ongoing assessment.

There is, however, still no update on the fitness of the likes of tighthead proper Marty Moore and winger Robert Baloucoune, who have yet to feature this season and seem unlikely to play like weekend.

Ulster forwards coach Roddy Grant on Monday said only that the province are hoping McCloskey will be available to return to action a Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm).

The Player of the Season has played only 45 minutes so far this term, having been flown out to South Africa to start against the Southern Kings before being withdrawn.

Should McCloskey fail to make it this weekend, that could leave summer signing Matt Faddes to partner Luke Marshall at centre, as he did from the bench against Blues.

The returning Will Addison featured at full-back last weekend with Louis Ludik on the wing opposite Craig Gilroy thanks to the unavailability of the likes of Baloucoune, Rob Lyttle (back injury), Michael Lowry (ankle surgery) and Jacob Stockdale (World Cup).

Ulster could, however, welcome back Ireland's late World Cup call-ups Rob Herring and Jordi Murphy in a boost to the pack.

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