Stephen Ferris (right) should not rush back before he is fully fit, according to teammate Chris Henry. ©INPHO/Presseye/Darren Kidd

Heineken Cup battles look out of reach for injured Ferris

The Ulster flanker is hopeful of a return in time for Ireland’s Six Nations campaign.

ULSTER’S TALISMANIC FLANKER Stephen Ferris is progressing well with his injury rehab but looks set to miss his side’s upcoming Heineken Cup matches.

Ferris had surgery in early December after suffering an ankle tendon injury against Edinburgh the month before.

Following the surgery announcement, Ulster Rugby did not set out a time frame for the forward’s return.

Speaking to, Chris Henry, who should captain the side against Scarlets in the Pro12 on Friday, revealed that no fixed date had been set for Ferris’ return.

He said, “I’ve spoken to Stephen and things are coming along well.

“Whether those [Heineken Cup] games might be too soon or not, it’s hard to tell.”

Ulster, who lead Pool 4 on 15 points, face Glasgow Warriors at Ravenhill on 11 January before a trip to France on 19 January to take on Castres at Stade Pierre Antonine.

Bolstered second row

Ferris won his 100th Ulster cap in a home win against Munster earlier in the season but only featured twice more and has missed Heineken Cup and Irish international duty since he incurred the ankle injury.

Henry added, “The last thing Stephen wants to do is rush back before he is right.

There is no clear-cut date for a fixture for him to return.

“Big Dan Tuohy should be back this weekend and Johann [Muller] should not be too much longer.”

Iain Henderson had been deputising for Ferris at blindside for a number of key games but an injury crisis in the second row saw him redeployed to a starting role at lock.

Henderson missed the 24-10 defeat to Munster at the weekend but, along with Tuohy, has been named in the extended squad for Friday’s game.

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Tuohy set to return for Ulster against Scarlets