Ulster were surprisingly hushed on Monday on the injury situation within the squad ahead of Friday night’s penultimate and must win Pool Four Heineken Cup match against Glasgow Warriors at Ravenhill.
No news is good news it is said, but certainly Ulster head coach, Mark Anscombe, was “very concerned” on Friday night stating that he was really worried with the situation regarding lock, Dan Tuohy, centre, Luke Marshall and fullback, Jared Payne.
Payne is expected to be named in the provisional squad to be announced at lunchtime on Tuesday - he was due to feature in PRO12 game against Scarlets last Friday evening, but is understood to have suffered a recurrence of a troublesome groin injury and was withdrawn.
Anscombe was hopeful on the key player’s return last Friday saying: “Hopefully the extra couple of days rest will be enough, but it is a case of wait and see.”
Marshall suffered a finger injury and was expected not to be available for this weekend’s game, although the extent of the injury could see him ruled out for longer.
The big concern for Ulster, given the existing injury situation, was to Tuohy. He had just returned from a calf tear but was forced off with what appeared to be a recurrence of the problem just before half time in the Scarlets match.
Skipper Johann Muller is already on the injury list leaving Ulster a little light on out and out second rows.
It does appear that Rory Best and Iain Henderson are both likely to be named in the provisional squad on Tuesday along with prop, Declan Fitzpatrick, who returned from a concussion monitored injury to feature for his club side Dungannon in the All Ireland League on Saturday.
Ulster also have a crucial Ravens match on Friday, a potential group decider in the British & Irish Cup against Bristol, so they are set to be stretched in some departments.
However, the important game is for the seniors against Glasgow, with Ulster needing a win to leave them in the position of going to France to face Castres a week later seeking another win which would see them top the group and more importantly secure a home draw in the quarter-finals.