Ken Owens: Wales hooker 'thankful' to be on British and Irish Lions tour
Wales hooker Ken Owens has praised the "incredible" efforts of the British and Irish Lions medical team.
Owens will captain the Lions in the second match of their New Zealand tour against Blues on Wednesday, 6 June.
The 30-year-old has recovered from an ankle injury which saw him miss Scarlets' end of season, including the Pro12 final win over Munster.
"I'm just thankful to be on this trip now and looking forward to putting a marker down," Owens said.
"The work the physios have done has been incredible.
"It was a massive worry and a nervous 72 hours icing my foot and resting up to get into a position to prove to the coaches and physio staff that I'd be in a position to rehab and get myself on the tour.
"Luckily that's given me the opportunity."
The Lions started their tour of New Zealand with a nervy 13-7 victory over the Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei on Saturday.
Scarlets skipper Owens did not feature in the opening game but captains a side showing 15 changes against the Super Rugby team in Auckland.
"When Gats asked me it was a bit of a shock but a huge honour and one it didn't take me too long to answer," Owens added.
"It's just a massive honour for myself and a challenge I'm relishing on Wednesday night, leading the boys out and hopefully putting a massive performance in that the Lions shirt deserves.
"There's a lot of experience in the side so there's not going to be the need for too much shouting or big inspiring speeches because we've got a lot of experience in that room.
"I think it's just about showing direction and hopefully the boys will follow me."