Surgery rules Warburton out for four months

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Sam Warburton has won 74 caps for Wales having made his debut in 2009

Wales and Cardiff Blues flanker Sam Warburton is to have surgery on a long-standing neck injury, ruling him out for up to four months.

The 28-year-old, who captained the British and Irish Lions in their drawn Test series with New Zealand this summer, aggravated the injury in training this week.

The operation means Warburton will miss all four of Wales’ autumn Tests.

He will also miss key Pro14 and Challenge Cup dates for the Blues.

Warburton missed six weeks at the end of last season with a knee injury, while in October 2016 he suffered a fractured cheekbone that put him out for three weeks.

He has also had several serious shoulder injuries during his career and also missed the deciding Lions Test against Australia in 2013 with a torn hamstring.

The Blues already have injury problems in the back row, with Ellis Jenkins (hamstring) and James Botham (ankle) also ruled out for up to four months.

That leaves Josh Navidi as the only senior specialist open-side flanker.


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