2013 British & Irish Lions
Surgery rocks Ferris' Lions hopes
ESPN Staff
February 28, 2013
Ireland's Stephen Ferris looks to offload the ball, Ireland v Italy, Six Nations, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, February 25, 2012
Stephen Ferris faces three months out © Getty Images
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Stephen Ferris' British & Irish Lions hopes look to have taken a hammer blow with the news that he faces three months on the sidelines.

Ferris suffered an ankle injury against Edinburgh in November and after his original surgery, the medical staff hoped that he would be back in action in time for the Six Nations. But he has since been forced to undergo another operation to clean out his ankle and Ulster have confirmed that he will be out for three months.

"Stephen Ferris, was reviewed last week as part of his ongoing rehabilitation from an ankle injury that he sustained in November," an Ulster statement read. "During that review, it was discovered that although he had made excellent progress, some minor issues still remained. Those issues included function at the ankle continuing to cause pain.

"Having considered all specialist medical opinions given, Stephen underwent further ankle surgery in Belfast yesterday (Wednesday), during which fragments of bone were removed. Stephen will be out of rugby for another three months but following this period is expected to make a full and complete return to the game."

That time frame means that Ferris is set to miss the rest of the season with his comeback from injury pencilled in for late May or early June. This time-frame clashes with the Lions as they open their 10-game tour against the Barbarians on June 1 in Hong Kong and then travel to Perth to face the Western Force on June 5.

It now seems highly unlikely that Ferris will get the nod for the tour due to his lack of match fitness. He last played for Ireland back in 2012 and has turned out just four times for Ulster this term. Ferris played for the Lions on their 2009 tour and was tipped for a place in the Test side. But his tour was cut short after he suffered a knee injury in training and was sent home.

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