British Lion Tommy Bowe continues to make good progress as he looks to get on the right side of a groin injury which has sidelined him since the end of the November.
The Ulster winger has been expecting to make a return to playing over the past three weeks - and this weekend was crucial as it would have seen him also back in the mix with Ireland.
Bowe suffered the groin injury in his last game when Ireland lost to New Zealand in Dublin at the end of November.
Ulster assistant coach, Jonny Bell, said on Tuesday that while Bowe continued to make good progress it was still too early for a return to playing in Sunday’s PRO12 visit to Benetton Treviso.
There is no return deadline for Bowe given the nature of the injury and there was no indication he would be fit to take part in next week’s home game against Dragons.
However, as the clock ticks down to the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Saracens at the start of April, Ulster would hope to see Bowe starting in their now rearranged fixture against Scarlets - probably Friday March 14.
Meanwhile, Ulster are expecting to be without outhalf Paddy Jackson this weekend as he should make the bench for Ireland’s crunch Six Nations match against England.