Tommy Bowe will undergo surgery to cure an ongoing medical issue on Friday, ruling him out of the remainder of the current season - including Ireland's trip to New Zealand in June.
Having discovered he was suffering from high blood pressure earlier this year, the Irish wing has been put through a number of medical tests to identify the cause of the problem. These tests have shown that he has, in the past, suffered a haematoma that is pushing into his left kidney, with further tests indicating that this is the reason for the raised blood pressure.
After considerable consultation with specialists in both Ireland and Wales, Bowe has opted to go down the route of surgical removal of the haematoma in an effort to solve the problem.
He is being operated on in Ireland on Friday, before returning to Wales post-op to convalesce.
Because of the surgery, he will not be able to play any further part for the Ospreys this season, ahead of his return to Ulster for next season.
Recovery time post-operation is unclear, but he could be sidelined for up to four months - ruling him out of the mid-tour tour to take on the World Cup-champion All Blacks.
A bitterly disappointed Bowe said his long-term health is more important that playing one last game for the Ospreys.
"Having confirmed my move to Ulster during the Six Nations, I was really looking forward to returning to the Liberty Stadium for the end of season run-in, to help the Ospreys towards hopefully another league title, and also, to say a big thank you to the region's incredible fans for all the support they've given me over the last four years," Bowe said.
"Obviously, this news unfortunately means that I won't get to wear the Ospreys shirt again, but it's important that I get this problem sorted as soon as possible.
"Hopefully, the Ospreys will have a home semifinal and final in May so that I can still get down to the Liberty to say farewell to the supporters."
Ireland play the first of their three Tests in New Zealand when they take on the All Blacks in Auckland on June 9; followed by internationals in Christchurch and Hamilton on successive Saturdays.
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