Ulster and Ireland have been dealt a blow after Stephen Ferris suffered a setback in his attempted return from surgery on an ankle tendon injury.
British & Irish Lion Ferris underwent surgery in December to repair ankle tendon damage that he sustained in a PRO12 game against Edinburgh.
"The 27-year-old was reviewed this week as part of his ongoing rehabilitation programme. In that review it was discovered that, although Stephen has made excellent progress in his recovery, some minor issues remain," read a statement.
"As a result, the specialist medical-staff treating Stephen are considering several options to ensure that he makes a full and complete return to play.
"A decision on a course of action will be made in the coming weeks."
The news comes as a further blow due to Ferris having been a leading contender for the blindside flanker jersey on the 2013 Lions tour.