Henry feels lucky to be on road to recovery

IRELAND flanker Chris Henry has admitted he was terrified after suffering a mini stroke last month, but he feels "very lucky" to have had medical experts on hand so quickly.

A blocked blood vessel in the 30-year-old's brain caused him to have a Transient Ischaemic Attack - or mini stroke - hours before Joe Schmidt's men beat South Africa 29-15 on November 8.

Henry (pictured) was pulled out of the Test against the Springboks and it was then found he had a hole in his heart - which led to the mini stroke - but he is now on the comeback trail after having surgery on the organ last week.

"It's been a scary few weeks to be honest but I feel very lucky that I was in that environment and getting such incredible medical expertise so quickly," he told Ulster's official website.

"They got to the bottom of things swiftly and I think that's the most important thing; when something like that happens, the unknown

is the scary thing and to have clarity on what was going on and having the problem fixed so quickly - for me, I feel very lucky."

At first it was thought he had suffered a severe migraine, but after four days of treatment at the St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin the true cause was confirmed.

Henry described the support he has received from the rugby community during the episode as "overwhelming".

Although Henry knows he will have to be patient during his recovery, he is back in training and already eyeing a spot at the World Cup next year.

"I think that (the World Cup) is a realistic target," he said.

"In my mind, I want to be back by the end of this season. Whether that is pushing it too much, we'll just have to wait and see."

He might be boosted by the fact his Ireland team-mate Richardt Strauss was similarly diagnosed with a hole in his heart in October 2013 and was able to play again three months later.

ULSTER back-row Roger Wilson says he feels 'as fit as ever' after signing a new two-year contract that will see him remain at Kingspan Stadium until the summer of 2017.

The 33-year-old has represented Ulster 165 times since making his debut in 2003 and was named Ulster Player of the Year in 2005 and 2007.

In 2008, Wilson moved to the English Premiership where he made 117 appearances for Northampton Saints, winning the European Challenge Cup and LV Cup.

He won his only Ireland cap in 2005 against Japan and has represented Ireland A on 11 occasions.

"Ulster Rugby is a great place to be right now so I am pleased to have signed a new two-year contract with the province," he said.

"Physically, I feel that I am as fit and well as I have ever been and I am looking forward to making a big contribution over the next two years."


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