Irish international Iain Henderson faces a race to be fit for the defence of the RBS Six Nations Championship after suffering a ‘significant’ hamstring tear.
The 23-year-old, who was one of Ireland’s stars at the recent Rugby World Cup, was one of four players who suffered injury during Ulster 14-7 Guinness PRO12 win against Edinburgh at Kingspan Stadium last Friday night.
It could not have come at a worse time for the Irish Province as they prepare for crucial European Champions Cup back-to-back fixtures against Toulouse.
The French side will visit Belfast on Friday night.
Henderson’s absence will be huge given his versatility to play in both the back and second row.
Ulster Rugby said on Monday night: “Iain suffered a significant hamstring tear to his left leg.
“He will be reviewed by a surgeon and his ongoing management and prognosis will be clearer after this consultation has taken place.”
It does mean he could be out for at least two or three months.
However, while Henderson will return to playing at some stage, the season is over for young back, Peter Nelson.
The utility back has been making superb progress this season and his ability to cover at outhalf, fullback or wing has given Ulster good options to date.
The 23-year-old dislocated his foot against Edinburgh and is set to go for surgery.
Ulster Rugby said: “It was relocated in the medical room at Kingspan Stadium and he was admitted into the Ulster Independent Clinic over night on Friday.
“He is now at home and will have scheduled surgery when the swelling subsides.
“This is a season-ending injury for Peter.”
Ulster lock Dan Tuohy suffered a fractured ankle ruling him out for two months.
Ulster Rugby said he also suffered ligament damage to the right ankle and he was due to be reviewed by a surgeon today when a decision on whether surgery would be required will be made.
Ireland centre, Darren Cave will miss both games against Toulouse, but it is hoped he will be available for selection again to face Connacht in the PRO12 on Boxing Day.
He suffered an AC joint sprain to his right shoulder and will be managed on an ongoing basis.
After delivering that horror medical report last night, Ulster Rugby confirmed that Roger Wilson, who was a late withdrawal from the Edinburgh game with a back spasm, would be available for selection for this week’s visit of Toulouse.