Bowe another month off return as Piutau sidelined with thumb injury

CHARLES PIUTAU will miss Ulster’s Guinness Pro12 clash with Treviso in Italy on Saturday after sustaining a thumb injury in training.

However, the northern province describe Piutau’s injury as “minor” and say the All Blacks-capped fullback should make a return next week.

Piutau has impressed at Ulster so far. Source: Presseye/Brian Little/INPHO

24-year-old Piutau made his competitive debut for Ulster in last weekend’s 29-8 victory over the Dragons at Kingspan Stadium.

Meanwhile, scrum-half Paul Marshall has been ruled out until “later this month” after sustaining a rib cartilage injury in the win against the Dragons.

Ireland international wing Craig Gilroy suffered concussion in the same fixture and is currently following the return-to-play protocols.

Jonny Simpson won’t return until October due to an ankle sprain, while midfielder Mark Best [right thigh] and scrum-half David Shanahan [sternoclavicular joint] both face another two weeks on the sidelines.

In regard to Ulster’s longer-term injuries, Ireland wing Tommy Bowe remains four to six weeks away from his return as he continues to rehab a knee injury.

Bowe is hopeful of making next summer’s Lions tour. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ulster fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of new signing Marcell Coetzee recovering from knee surgery, but will have to wait until January of 2017 for the South African international to make his debut.

Back row Chris Henry is expected back in two months after his shoulder surgery, while international lock Dan Tuohy is four to six weeks away from returning.

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Tighthead prop Wiehahn Herbst, who underwent groin surgery, is another two months away from a comeback, although Ricky Lutton and Johnny Murphy should return in the next month.

There is no return date as yet for playmaker Peter Nelson, who suffered a left mid-foot injury last December.

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