Ireland flanker Chris Henry underwent exploratory heart surgery this week as his medical team searched for reasons for his health scare on the eve of Ireland’s opening autumn international against South Africa on 8 November.
Henry underwent tests in Dublin at the time and it was thought he had suffered transient ischaemic attack (TIA), which is caused by a tiny clot that blocks a small blood vessel in the brain which temporarily hampers the blood flow.
On Monday, Henry underwent surgery to repair a defect in his heart wall. This was found to be related to his recent episode and has been performed to prevent further issues.
Ulster’s new team manager Bryn Cunningham says that they are now awaiting news from the medical staff.
“Chris went in for an operation yesterday (Monday). There was some exploratory work done as well as some repairing, and to that extent nobody outside the medical staff carrying out the operation know the intimate details.
“We’re waiting for the staff to give us an update on how successful that was and we will see over the next few days. What we’re concerned about is that he makes a full recovery and we are quite confident he will, according to the feedback we have had. That will give us a good idea of where he is and his potential to play.
“Chris is a massive favourite here at the Kingspan Stadium and the crowd will obviously want to see him back, only on the basis that the medical staff are absolutely confident that he is 100% fit.
“It has been very difficult for Chris and his family. From that point of view it is about him getting back to a full bill of health. If he gets back to playing professional rugby again, that will be fantastic and that’s what we are hoping.”
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