Warburton may take long break after neck surgery
Wales flanker Sam Warburton has hinted that he could take an extended spell out of the sport as he continues his recovery from neck surgery.
Warburton has not played this season for Cardiff Blues or Wales, having last appeared in the British and Irish Lions’ drawn series with New Zealand. The 29-year-old was expected to return in January but has admitted that he may take his time over his comeback to ensure his body is in the best possible condition to continue his career after a string of injuries.
“There’s no pressure on me to return,” Warburton told the Daily Mirror. “The priority is making sure I get my body back to full health to play. The rehab is going smoothly so far, so all good. I’ve had no hiccups so far. It was quite a straightforward operation. People hear the words ‘neck operation’ and they wave the red flag.
“This is an injury I’ve been battling for three to four years. Once it’s sorted, hopefully it will reduce the number of shoulder stingers and nerve problems I’m getting and I can play more frequently.”
Meanwhile, Wales and Lions veteran Jamie Roberts is back in the Wales squad.
Roberts, who has 96 Test caps, and prop Scott Andrews have been called into Warren Gatland’s squad as injury cover and arrived in camp yesterday morning, as the squad reconvened ahead of the game against Georgia on Saturday.
The 31-year-old Roberts was left out of the initial Wales squad as part of a tactical shift by Gatland and assistant coach Rob Howley towards using two playmakers, which meant that Gloucester’s Owen Williams was selected at inside centre in the defeat by Australia in Cardiff last weekend.