Sam Warburton feels ready to play and should feature before New Zealand tour
Scrum-half Conor Murray also likely to play for Munster before the end of season
Warren Gatland has revealed stars Sam Warburton, Alun-Wyn Jones and Conor Murray are making good progress in their progress back to full fitness.
“He’s [Warburton] good. I spoke to Sam yesterday and he feels that he could play now, and so he’s made some really good progress and really happy with how he’s responded to treatment over the last few weeks,” said the British & Irish Lions head coach.
“I expect him to play before he goes to New Zealand. I think he’s looking to play for the Blues and if potentially they are involved in one of the play-off games to get into Europe, he’s hoping to be selected for that.
“[Jones] is making good progress as well. Steve Borthwick [Lions forward coach] went down and saw him last week and he’s confident that he’s going to be okay as well.
“That’s part of the plan [for Jones to play before the tour]. It looks like the Ospreys are going to be involved in the semi-finals of the Pro12 and that would give him an opportunity to get some rugby under his belt.
“The ideal scenario is that, and it’s not for everyone, but depending on how long ago you’ve picked up an injury, you want some players to get back on the field and get a game under their belt before we go on tour.
— Conor Murray (@ConorMurray_9) May 3, 2017
“Conor Murray, the prognosis with him looks pretty positive in terms of hopefully getting back and getting a game for Munster as well, and that’ll be good for him over the next few weeks if he can get a game.
“Apart from that we get regular updates and the thing with modern day professional rugby is that most players are carrying something because the body takes an absolute hammering from week to week, so you’re going to be sore or something’s not going to be 100 per cent and just as long as it’s not too long-term.
“The job for us and the clubs potentially and the players over the next month is to manage everyone as well as we possibly can and to make sure we do that well on tour also.”