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Ulster's Tommy Bowe can come back 'stronger than ever' after injury

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster's European Cup winning hero Gary Longwell has insisted his former team-mate Tommy Bowe can come back stronger than ever despite confirmation that the Ireland winger faces at least SIX months on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury.

The Belfast Telegraph revealed last Friday that, after being injured playing for Ireland in the World Cup, the two-time Lion would be unlikely to play again this season.

That was officially confirmed yesterday when Ulster Rugby announced that the unfortunate Bowe had suffered posterior cruciate ligament and meniscal damage meaning he will miss the Six Nations and European Champions Cup.

It is a crushing blow for Bowe, who turns 32 later this year, but Longwell is sure his ex-Ulster colleague has much more to give.

"Tommy is an excellent professional and will take his rehab and his prehab very seriously," said Longwell, who won the European Cup with Ulster in 1999.

"I've a lot of faith in Ulster Rugby, guys like Dr Webb, that they can get Tommy back even stronger.

"He's got so much class, so much ability and I still think there's more to come from him."

There was further bad news for Ulster yesterday with confirmation that Iain Henderson will be out for six weeks after hand surgery. He will miss Ulster's first two games in the Champions Cup next month against Oyannax and Saracens and is now in a race against time to be fit for the European double-header with Toulouse in December.

Ulster coach Neil Doak said: "It is definitely a blow to us to be without that experience and quality for such a long period of time."

Belfast Telegraph


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