GARETH Milasinovich’s Ulster career has got off to a nightmare start after damaging his knee in pre-season training.

The prop who joined the Pro14 outfit from Worcester Warriors this summer is expected to be out for approximately nine months after undergoing surgery to fix the anterior cruciate ligament tear.

It is a cruel blow for Milasinovich who appeared to put his injury woe behind him last season when he made 28 appearances – 19 of those coming in the Gallagher Premiership.

The 26-year-old who can play tighthead or loosehead joined Warriors from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa in the summer of 2015.

But Milasinovich spent 12 months on the sidelines after rupturing his Achilles tendon against Exeter Chiefs in April 2016 before dislocating a big toe in training.