Ulster’s Declan Fitzpatrick likely to miss rest of season

Irish international prop’s heart palpitations during Glasgow Warriors clash a cause for concern

Ulster prop Declan Fitzpatrick has won seven international caps for Ireland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Ulster prop Declan Fitzpatrick has won seven international caps for Ireland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Wed, Apr 23, 2014, 01:00

Ulster prop Declan Fitzpatrick may not play rugby again this season. The Irish capped player, who spent two days in a Glasgow hospital after coming off in Ulster’s game against Glasgow Warriors because of heart palpitations, is currently being treated in Belfast for the condition.

Medical staff in the province have said that his illness is not as serious as that which caused Ireland’s Simon Best to retire in 2007. Best, a brother of Ulster hooker, Rory, had his career brought to a premature end when he suffered a mini stroke during the World Cup in France.

It is unknown what caused Fitzpatrick’s irregularity, which forced him out of the match shortly after he had come on as a second-half replacement. Doctors at the Glasgow hospital successfully brought his heartbeat back into a normal rhythm.

Richardt Strauss, the Leinster and Ireland hooker, recently returned to playing following successful treatment for a hole in his heart, which was discovered by Leinster medical staff.

The 30-year-old Fitzpatrick has been capped by Ireland seven times and has two years to run on his Ulster contract.

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