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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019
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Ulster flanker Coetzee scheduled to return for start of next season

The worst was feared for the Springbok, but exploratory surgery yesterday showed only cartilage damage and he faces a four-month recovery.

Image: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

ULSTER DIRECTOR OF rugby Les Kiss has welcomed news that Marcell Coetzee will sit out four more months after knee surgery.

The powerful South African back row was injured during Ulster’s Pro12 win over Zebre, and, given he only returned in February after 10 months out with a cruciate ligament injury, the worst was feared.

However, exploratory surgery on his left knee in Belfast yesterday confirmed and repaired “a significant medial meniscal (cartilage) tear”.

No further surgery will be needed for the 25-year-old and the recovery timeframe is expected to be four months. Ulster expect the Springbok to be fully fit for the start of Jono Gibbes’ reign next season.

“It really is fantastic news,” says Kiss, “it’s great to hear that he will be back sooner than we initially expected.

“He has had a tremendous impact since he joined the club, not only on the pitch, but also on the training paddock with his huge work ethic and infectious positive attitude. It’s a great boost for the club, the supporters and most importantly Marcell himself, that we will see him back in an Ulster jersey at the start of next season.”

Marcell Coetzee with Tommaso Iannone Source: Presseye/Matt Mackey/INPHO

“I have spoken to Marcell and he’s really pleased with the prognosis. He is extremely grateful for the care he received from the Ulster Rugby medical team and the staff at the Ulster Independent Clinic, plus for all the messages of support he has received from the Ulster fans. I know from the way he faced the challenge of his previous rehab that he will be back even better than before.”

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Sean Farrell

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