Bowe out for four months
Rugby:Ulster have confirmed that winger Tommy Bowe will be sidelined for four months which rules him out of the province’s two pool matches in the Heineken Cup in January and Ireland’s entire Six Nations Championship campaign.
Bowe was stretchered off in the 77th minute of Ulster’s 10-9 defeat to the Northampton Saints last Saturday night at Ravenhill and there were immediate fears that the 28-year-old had suffered a severe injury.
The initial prognosis was that he had sustained significant lateral ligament damage to his right knee. Bowe underwent surgery yesterday and tweeted that the operation had gone well and that he was enjoying some post surgery tea and toast.
Bowe sustained the damage when he raced onto a pass from replacement scrumhalf Paul Marshall on the halfway line and as he looked to scamper clear he was clipped from behind by Saints’ wing Jamie Elliott in what amounted to a try saving tackle.
After a six minute delay to receive attention the Ulster wing was stretchered from the pitch. If Ulster do manage to qualify from their pool, the quarter-finals of the European Cup take place on the first weekend in April and that may come a little too soon for Bowe to have rehabilitated sufficiently.
The injury also hugely compromises his chances of making the Lions tour to Australia next summer, which would most unfortunate given the impact he made in 2009 when the Lions toured South Africa. Bowe was one of the outstanding players on that tour playing in all three test matches.
He has scored 26 tries in 51 matches for Ireland and his absence from the Six Nations is a significant blow to Irish hopes.