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Warburton: Surgery will extend my career

Thursday, February 15, 2018

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton will return to rugby next season after surgery on his knee and neck which he believes will give his career a new lease of life.

The 29-year-old back-row forward underwent two operations after last year's Lions tour of New Zealand. "It will 100 percent extend my career," he told the Western mail yesterday.

"I was worried how long I would be able to go on playing if I didn't get these issues sorted, mentally as well, because I didn't want to commit to the physical side of the game and without the physical side of the game that's me over.

"I've got to get my body right to get my head right to play again."

Warburton, who said he felt he was playing at 70-80 per cent on the Lions tour, had a synthetic ligament attached to his knee and some bone shaved in his neck to alleviate a pinched nerve.

"I had to sign a form beforehand accepting there was a one in 3000 chance of paralysis, which isn't great before an operation.

"They said if you want to play rugby again, it's worth having," Warburton said.

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