12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
The combative flanker had an X-ray on his facial injury and will require surgery to repair the damage, according to an Ulster Rugby statement.
He is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks, and such a lay-off would rule him out of Ireland's plans for their upcoming run of matches.
Declan Kidney's men are due to play the Barbarians (Friday, June 4 at Thomond Park) before heading Down Under for two mouth-watering Test matches against New Zealand (Saturday, June 12 in New Plymouth) and Australia (Saturday, June 26 in Brisbane).
Tickets for the Ireland v Barbarians game are available here.
Ireland will also line out against New Zealand Maori, in Rotorua on Friday, June 18, as part of the Maori's centenary series.
This Friday, Ferris will be watching on from the sidelines as Ulster finish their Magners League campaign against provincial rivals Connacht.
He scored Ulster's fifth try in their recent bonus point win over Edinburgh which confirmed their place in next season's Heineken Cup.