Ulster have announced that they expect injured Ireland duo Tommy Bowe and Iain Henderson to return to action for the province before the end of the Pro12 season.

Winger Bowe and lock/back row Henderson were both ruled out of the Six Nations campaign after picking up serious injuries but should now line out before the end of the campaign in May.

The Northerners are currently fourth in the table, which would be enough to secure a place in the play-offs.

Bowe suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury, which required reconstructive surgery, whilst representing Ireland at the Rugby World Cup in September.

Ulster say the Monaghan man, who has scored 30 tries in 67 caps for Ireland, is "making excellent progress ahead of a further review with his surgeon this week".

Henderson suffered a significant hamstring tear against Edinburgh in December but has recovered well following surgery and is expected back for the run-in.

Ulster were unable to say when Willie Faloon (foot), Wiehahn Herbst (toe), or Dan Tuohy (ankle) would be back but are hopeful that Nick Williams, Rob Herring and Luke Marshall could return to face Zebre on Friday.

Ian Humphreys (hip/back) and Louis Ludik (adductor strain) are doubtful but Alan O'Connor has overcome a viral infection and is available for selection.