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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019

Kiss confident of Chris Henry return, but 'most important thing is getting back on his feet'

Ireland’s assistant coach cautioned against putting a time-frame on the flanker’s return to the field.

IRELAND DEFENCE COACH Les Kiss is confident that it’s a matter of ‘when’ and not if Chris Henry returns to play rugby.

Ulster’s international openside underwent surgery to repair a defect in his heart wall on Monday having suffered an ‘episode’ after being named in the starting line-up to face South Africa on 8 November.

Chris Henry Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“I had a text from Chris, he reported back that he felt great and the procedure went well,” Kiss said at yesterday’s launch of the Ulster Bank club rugby awards.

“When he first felt unwell, they went through a procedure to see what it was. I think the key thing at the moment is that he’s under recovery. That [surgery has] been done and should get him in front of any issues.

“The big thing now for Chris is to get in to a position where he’s well and healthy again and then consider when he returns to play.”

With Henry’s surgery coming little over a year after hooker Richardt Strauss went under the knife to correct a hole in his heart, many are using the naturalised Ireland international as an example of how fast Henry may return. However Kiss, the future director of rugby at Ulster, cautioned against issuing any hasty time-frames for his recovery.

“There are other cases. I’m not sure it’s the same procedure. I don’t have the medical expertise. The biggest thing for the immediate window is to get himself back on his feet, get to feel healthy again and then consider things going forward.”

First published at 13.10

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Sean Farrell

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