The Ulster medical team were assessing a knee injury sustained by Iain Henderson after he was released from the Ireland camp on Wednesday.
Described as a sprain by Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt on Thursday, it has ruled the British Lion lock out of tomorrow’s Six Nations Championship showdown against Wales in Cardiff.
However, Ulster will be more concerned that one of their key figures could now be in doubt for their massive test at the Aviva Stadium, Duiblin, on March 30 against Leinster in the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup.
Schmidt said: “(Iain) picked it up during the game (against France), he didn’t even realise during the game that he had it. I thought he played a super game as well.
“It wasn’t actually until we got back to the team hotel that he just felt his knee was a bit sore.
“He has sprained it and won’t be available for us this weekend. Hopefully he’ll be back in the next few weeks all going well,” added Schmidt.
The Irish boss said later: “It is not a serious injury I do not think, guys come back in three weeks.
“I cannot see him playing next week, that would be a week too soon, but I could potentially see him playing a week after that.”
That timeframe would be good news for Ulster, however, the Province will wait for further updates in the coming days from their medical team, with the hope that he will be ready to lineout against Leinster onMarch 30.
This is Henderson’s third injury in three months, but he had previously recovered sooner than expected from two hand injuries.