Alun Wyn Jones In Line For Shock British & Irish Lions Return
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Alun Wyn Jones could be set for a miraculous and shocking return to the British and Irish Lions in time for the Test series following his withdrawal last weekend.
Jones was forced off against Japan after just sevens minutes on Saturday with a dislocated shoulder and withdrew from the squad that not, missing out of the flight to South Africa the next day with the rest of the squad.
Conor Murray replaced him as tour captain with fellow Welshman Adam Beard brought up as cover for the second-row in his absence.
But it appears the problem isn’t as bad as initially feared and a decision will be on his involvement over the next couple of weeks.
“Given his age, they think that they could potentially take a few shortcuts, more than you would do with a young player if he picked up this type of injury at the start of his career,” Gatland told the Sun.
“So he’s kind of optimistic that a miracle may happen, and then he can get himself right.
“We’re just going to assess it and see how the next couple of weeks goes in terms of that. I think the specialist said when he had to look at it, that it wasn’t quite as bad as he thought it would be.”
The Lions will now closely monitor Jones’ situation, with medics in Wales and South Africa continuing to hold regular conversations.
“We’re going to monitor that and as we come towards the end of the tour, or if we pick up an injury and he’s making amazing progress, something can happen – you never know,” Gatland added.
“They (medics) have been saying: “Okay you go away and do your rehab and in the next couple of weeks we will see what sort of progress you’ve made.
“There would be no way that we would even consider even bringing him out unless he was back into full contact and those sorts of things. We just have got to look at it, it may be that we pick up injuries in that position as well.
“So there’s lots of things that could happen and could change. We’re just keeping an open mind on that situation.”