Ankle surgery sidelines Ulster's Ferris


Rugby:Ulster backrow forward Stephen Ferris has today undergone surgery on a tendon injury and it is not known when he will be available to play for the province again.

The Ireland flanker sustained ankle damage in the RaboDirect PRO12 game against Edinburgh on November 2nd, ruling him out of the autumn international series matches against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.

His condition “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”, according to an Ulster Rugby statement this evening. Ominously, Ferris's first tweet of the day simply read: "And so another journey begins.."

He latter added: "Operation went well and I'm on the road to recovery."

Such an unclear prognosis, however, does not bode well for Ulster, who have four Heineken Cup games in the next six weeks, starting with this Friday's meeting with Northampton at Franklin's Gardens and ending with the final pool game away to Castres on the weekend of January 18th.

They remain unbeaten in 12 games so far this season and top the PRO12 table, but both Mark Anscombe and Ireland coach Declan Kidney will be hoping the powerful backrow can make a swift return.

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