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Lions Captain Sam Warburton Could Make Injury Return Sooner Than Expected

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Lion's captain Sam Warburton poses during the British and Irish Lions Tour Squad and Captain annoucement at London Syon Park Hotel on April 19, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Sam Warburton may yet play again for Cardiff Blues this season.

The Lions captain was ruled out of contention for six weeks in mid-April with a knee injury, which at the time was thought to have ended his Pro12 season (as well as putting his captaincy in doubt).

However, Warren Gatland still trusted him with the armband, and while it was assumed that Warburton’s next outing would be with the Lions in New Zealand, he may yet return for the Champions Cup playoff final (assuming of course that the Blues reach that stage).

Antrim , United Kingdom - 7 April 2017; Sam Warburton of Cardiff Blues leaving the pitch with an injuy during the first half of the Guinness PRO12 Round 19 match between Ulster and Cardiff Blues at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Blues head coach Danny Wilson is hopeful that the 28-year-old flanker will be able to play in the final, but is taking nothing for granted:

“It is a possibility but there is quite a long way to go.

“If he were to play, it would be a final, if we made a final. Sam will continue with his rehab and as I say all the time, it is a bit of a cop-out, it is about ticking the relevant boxes as we go.”

Via BBC Sport

GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: Blues player Sam Warburton reacts after the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Gloucester Rugby and Cardiff Blues at Kingsholm on April 1, 2017 in Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Cardiff have already qualified for the playoff semi-finals (along with Connacht) by virtue of their position in the Pro12 table. Their opponents are yet to be determined but as it stands, Northampton Saints in the Premiership and Stade Francais in the Top 14 occupy those crucial remaining slots.

Even if Warburton does not make the final on the weekend of May 19th-21st, it does at least look as though he wll be fit for the entire Lions tour, which will in itself be a huge boost to Gatland as he looks to upset the odds and mastermind a victory against the All Blacks.


On the Oval Office rugby podcast this week, we hear from Gordon D’Arcy and Nick Evans, and talk PRO12, Premiership and Lions midfield.
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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.