Pro12: Ulster and Ireland hooker Rory Best expected back in January

Last Updated: 26/11/13 2:40pm

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Rory Best: Expected to return in mid-to-late January

Rory Best: Expected to return in mid-to-late January

Sky Bet

Ireland hooker Rory Best has been ruled out until January after undergoing surgery on his fractured arm.

The Ulster star suffered the injury just three minutes after scoring Ireland's second try during Sunday's loss to New Zealand.

Ulster said in a statement: "Rory Best underwent successful surgery in Belfast on Tuesday morning to stabilise the fracture that he sustained in Ireland's narrow defeat to New Zealand.

"He is expected to return to rugby in mid to late January."

Best will miss next month's Heineken Cup double-header against Treviso but could return in time for Ulster's final two pool fixtures against Montpellier and Leicester Tigers in January.

Six Nations

Ireland face Scotland in their Six Nations opener on 2 February and coach Joe Schmidt will be hoping he can get some games under his belt before then.

Meanwhile, Ulster are also likely to be without Iain Henderson until the New Year after a scan confirmed he has torn his hamstring.

The 21-year-old forward, who has won six Ireland caps, has been ruled out of action for up to six weeks.

The Irish province already have a lengthy injury list, with Nick Williams sidelined for six weeks with a calf problem and Ian Porter expected to be ruled out for a fortnight after irritating his AC joint.

Centres Darren Cave and Luke Marshall suffered cramp against Edinburgh but are expected to be available for Saturday's Pro12 trip to Zebre.

Johann Muller and Jared Payne have been progressing well through their rehab and a decision on their involvement will be made later in the week.

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