Having skippered the British and Irish Lions to a remarkable series draw with New Zealand over the summer, the return to normal life has been far from smooth for Sam Warburton. The Wales flanker has received a huge setback as it has been confirmed that he will have to undergo neck surgery.
The Cardiff Blues have today released a statement declaring that their back-row star is facing up to four months on the sideline.
The 28-year-old has had a long-standing neck injury, the recurrence of which has caused the need for an operation. It was exacerbated in training this week.
He has undergone scans and has been reviewed by a consultant who confirmed the management plan. It is likely that he will miss a period of up to four months.
This comes as a major blow to both the Blues and Wales.
Warren Gatland’s side face a gruelling Autumn line-up, with games against Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Georgia.
If they are to do what they have not achieved frequently in recent times and claim a big scalp over a southern hemisphere giant, they will need their best players fit and firing. To that end, Warburton’s loss is hugely significant.