Ferris season in doubt after ankle surgery


In what must be a devastating blow for the player himself, Stephen Ferris’ season and with it his Lions’ hopes have been placed under a cloud after Ulster last night confirmed he underwent surgery yesterday to repair a tendon in his ankle. This occurred as a consequence of ankle damage he sustained in the Pro 12 game against Edinburgh, which was almost five weeks ago.

Quite why there has been such a delay in resorting to surgery is unclear and as disconcertingly, the statement made no estimate as to the flanker’s timeframe for rehabilitation, merely stating: “Stephen will be reviewed in the coming weeks to establish an accurate time period for recovery and to assess when he will fit to return to play.”

A return to action usually takes at least 12 weeks from such a procedure. The emergence of Iain Henderson and the arrival of both Roger Wilson and Nick Williams has not only offset the departure of Pedrie Wanenburg but also left Ulster less heavily reliant on the talismanic Ferris than for a number of years.

But the development must cast doubt on Ferris appearing at all in the remainder of the group stages, which in turn would hinder his hopes of playing in the Six Nations and hence making the Lions’ squad given backrow is possibly the most competitive area of selection. Ferris was odds-on to be the starting blindside flanker on the tour of South Africa in 2009 until injury curtailed his tour.

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