Ulster captain Rory Best to miss 09/10 season

Ulster Rugby have announced that Captain and Hooker Rory Best will miss the 2009-10 season due to injury.

Following recent pain and subsequent medical investigation, it has been discovered that Rory is suffering from an underlying chronic disc injury on his neck which requires surgery and a lengthy recovery period of between 9 and 12 months.

Ulster’s Operations Director David Humphreys commented; “Obviously losing Rory at the start of the season is a huge blow for us, not only is he our No. 1 hooker but also our captain and one of the most experienced players in the squad.

“However, what is most important is Rory’s long term health and welfare and there’s no reason not to expect him to return fully to rugby, post surgery and rehabilitation, next season.”

“The timing of this injury presents difficulties as most players are contracted for the 09-10 season.”

“While we strengthened our hooking options this summer with the signing of Andy Kyriacou, we are working at present to find a replacement for Rory within world rugby.”

Rory, who was recently married, intends to take some holiday time prior to surgery to come to terms with his injury, and therefore is not available for comment at present.

The date for the operation has not yet been set.

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