As well as having to cope with their deflating exit from the Heineken Cup, some key Ulster players picked up injuries during the province’s bruising quarter-final defeat to Saracens on Saturday evening.
Prop John Afoa sustained a disk injury in his back in the 17-15 loss to Saracens and will miss of this weekend’s RaboDirect PRO12 match against Connacht.
His front row colleague Rory Best picked up what is described as ‘a significant ankle sprain’ during the quarter-final clash. He will be out of rugby for between six and eight weeks.
Goal-kicking scrum half Ruan Pienaar suffered a recurrence of his AC joint injury. It is anticipated that he will be out of rugby for at least six weeks.
Meanwhile, second row Dan Tuohy has a fractured hand. He will undergo surgery this week and is not expected to return to rugby until next month.
Roger Wilson, another of the province’s starting forwards, suffered a fractured thumb. He will also be out of rugby until next month.
Finally, winger Andrew Trimble suffered concussion during the Ravenhill clash and will now follow the normal return-to-play protocols.