Wales captain Sam Warburton fears facial injuries more than any other
ESPN Staff
January 21, 2016
© Stu Forster/Getty Images

Wales captain Sam Warburton has revealed he fears facial injuries more than any other on the rugby field.

Warburton -- who is due to make his return from an ankle injury for the Cardiff Blues on Friday night -- told the latest edition of the Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal that he is particularly wary of those involving the eyes and mouth.

The 27-year-old flanker is hoping to prove his fitness against Calvisano ahead of the Six Nations, having been sidelined since November.

"The ones I fear are not so much dislocated shoulders or knee cartilage injuries or things like that," the British and Irish Lions flanker said.

"I've heard stories of horrendous facial injuries -- mouth, teeth, eyes, that sort of thing -- someone who lost their sight playing rugby.

"They are the things I worry about more, shoulders and knees can be fixed, so I think eye and mouth injuries would worry me the most."

Should Warburton come through unscathed against Calvisano he should line up alongside George North for Wales.

North missed large spells of last season due to the effects of concussion, but his international captain believes World Rugby's updated protocols on the issue have made players feel more secure on the pitch.

"I think players feel safer," he said. "I've seen a player have to retire through concussion, so players now know that if they do suffer a concussion they are going to be looked after properly and not have to end up -- in a worst case scenario -- retiring if they play again and have another bang on the head after it not being managed properly.

"The nice thing is you know you will be treated properly by the medical staff and you won't go back on the pitch until you are 100% fit and safe to do so."

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