It Seems Lions Captain Sam Warburton Will Not Be Fit For 1st Test
Sam Warburton has been forced to use an ice machine worth £3,000 to get himself fit for tomorrow’s game with the Highlanders.
The Lions captain missed the latter end of the regular season with a knee problem, before picking up an ankle injury on his return against the Provincial Barbarians.
He starts tomorrow, but is a real concern for the Test matches as time is running out to get him match-fit to for the 1st Test against the All Blacks.
“The machine’s a £3,000 piece of kit so it’s pretty good.” Warburton said
“It lasts about seven hours and you set it to come on automatically every 1½ to two hours overnight.
“You wake with the humming noise of the machine — and a freezing cold ankle!
“So you’re awake for a quarter of an hour, then asleep again. It’s just like having a baby, which I’m perfectly used to!”
Warburton says if he feels he’s still a bit undercut after the game with the Highlanders, he will be honest with head coach Warren Gatland. Warburton says if he’s fit for the first Test, it will be a ‘bonus.’
“I’ll be honest with Gats — and Gats will be honest with me — if I play on Tuesday and still feel I’m a bit undercut.”
“Maybe I could have a blinder but I’ll say if I don’t feel ready. If I make the First Test, that would be a bonus for me.”
“But there’s three Tests to get selected for, so it’s not the be all and end all with the first one.”
Should Warburton not make the first Test, Ireland’s Sean O’Brien would be favourite to take his place as he did in the third Test against Australia in 2013.