Sam Warburton: Lions captain could make Blues return before New Zealand tour

Sam Warburton
Sam Warburton suffered a medial knee ligament injury in Cardiff Blues' 24-24 draw against Ulster on 7 April

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton could play for Cardiff Blues before the end of the season, the region's head coach Danny Wilson says.

Warburton sustained a knee injury in April, ruling him out for six weeks.

Warburton, 28, could return for a possible European Champions Cup play-off final at the end of May - just a week before the first game of the Lions' tour of New Zealand.

"It is a possibility but there is quite a long way to go," Wilson said.

"If he were to play, it would be a final, if we made a final. Sam will continue with his rehab and as I say all the time, it is a bit of a cop-out, it is about ticking the relevant boxes as we go."

The Blues will play in a semi-final play-off to qualify for the top-tier competition of European rugby against either a French Top 14 side or an English Premiership club on 19, 20 or 21 May.

Blues' back-row injuries

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Sam Warburton: How the Lions captain injured his knee

The former Wales captain is one of five first-choice Cardiff back-rowers who have been injured this season.

Number eight Nick Williams, as well as Wales internationals Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins and Josh Turnbull have spent time on the sidelines so far this year.

Wilson added: "It's very rare we have had all five fit at the same time.

"If you have all five fit what you get is a starting three then you can bring some impact off the bench. At the moment I don't think we have had as much impact off the bench as we would have wanted.

"The future for the Cardiff Blues is having a bench that can have an impact."

Cardiff Blues captain Gethin Jenkins could miss the regular-season finale against Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday with a knee injury that saw him miss last weekend's victory over Zebre.

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