Lions head coach Warren Gatland has admitted that scrum-half Conor Murray’s ongoing recovery from a neck injury is a concern.
Murray hasn’t played since facing Wales in the Six Nations and is set to be ruled out of this weekend’s Champions Cup semi-final for Munster against Saracens.
Named in Wednesday’s Lions squad, Murray is widely expected to be the Lions’ Test starter after an excellent couple of years for Ireland.
Gatland however expressed caution over Murray’s injury, particularly given it involves his neck, adding that he will need minutes under his belt before the squad head to New Zealand.
“Yeah, it is a concern,” Gatland told The42.ie
“He’s got a nerve issue, I spoke to the doctor yesterday. He was hoping to be fit this week, he had a setback a couple of weeks ago.
“He’s going to need to play before he gets on the plane. That’s going to be important for us. I would be reluctant to take someone to New Zealand with a neck injury who hasn’t played particularly. His last game was against Wales, on March 10.
“He’s incredibly fit as a player. It’s causing him a bit of discomfort and a bit of weakness in his arm, and hopefully he’s going to be right in a couple of weeks, and the neurologist is confident he’s going to be okay.
“He’s had some disc problems in the past but that’s not what’s causing the issue. It’s some nerve problem that he’s got at the moment.
“Look, it’s a concern, because he is a quality player. I think he’s disappointed himself. He was hoping to be right this week for Munster. So hopefully he’s going to be right in a couple of weeks and get one or two games under his belt.”