Jacob Stockdale admits his season could be over after ankle surgery

Ulster and Ireland winger has not played since opening game of the season

Jacob Stockdale and Ulster have been dealt a huge blow with the news that the Irish winger will have to undergo surgery on his troublesome ankle injury and may well miss the entire season.

The 25-year-old has scored 19 tries in 35 Tests, including 10 in just 16 Six Nations games, but hasn't played since Ulster's opening game of the season against Glasgow, since when he has endured three months of rehab. Only now has it been decided that Stockdale, who is centrally contracted, requires surgery.

According to an Ulster statement, Stockdale “suffered a recent setback in the rehabilitation of his ankle injury and, following further consultation with his specialist, he underwent surgery on Monday of this week. He is not expected to play again this season.”

Stockdale said on social media: “It’s been a really frustrating couple of months for me with this ankle as nothing has seemed to go right with it. But hey, that’s life.

“Glad to have gotten the op now and hopefully [it] puts me on the right track back to recovery. I’m gutted this probably means the end of my season but gives me an opportunity to come back fitter and stronger than ever.”

Ulster also confirmed that loosehead Andrew Warwick sustained a suspected concussion in last Sunday's Heineken Champions Cup game away to Northampton Saints, and will follow the return to play protocols this week.

Given the six-day turnaround it is thus likely that Warwick will miss Ulster’s final pool game at home to Clermont on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm), thus adding to an extensive injury list.

This also includes captain Iain Henderson (who has played just over 100 minutes for Ulster this season), Stuart McCloskey, John Cooney, Will Addison (who broke his leg last October), and Jordi Murphy, who is yet to feature in this campaign.

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