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Ulster Optimistic Chris Henry Can Return After Undergoing Heart Surgery

Ulster Optimistic Chris Henry Can Return After Undergoing Heart Surgery
By Gary Reilly

Ireland and Ulster flanker Chris Henry has undergone exploratory heart surgery having suffered a blockage in his brain in the build up to Ireland's November internationals. Henry had been named to start against South Africa at the start of month but was replaced by Rhys Ruddock after failing ill.

It was initially suspected that he was suffering from migraines or a virus, however, the IRFU confirmed that tests showed that it was in fact a "temporary blockage of a small blood vessel in his brain".

Following that diagnosis, Henry underwent heary surgery on Monday to "repair a heart defect in his heart wall". A statement from the IRFU confirmed the news.

Chris is recovering from a procedure yesterday to repair a defect in his heart wall. This was found to be related to his recent episode and has been performed to prevent further issues.

According to BBC Northern Ireland, Ulster chief executive Shane Logan has said that the procedure has lead to the province being "more optimistic than we were a week or two ago".

"I think we'd be optimistic that he will make a full recovery and come back as quickly as possible," said Logan.

New Ulster team manager Bryn Cunningham has said that the initial priority is for Henry to get back to full health and after that the obvious aim is to get him back on the pitch.

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If he gets back to playing professional rugby that will be fantastic. That's certainly what we are hoping for.

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