Warburton to consult specialist
March 19, 2012
Sam Warburton lifted the Six Nations trophy, but was forced off at half-time against France © Getty Images
Wales skipper Sam Warburton will consult a specialist on Tuesday to gauge the extent of the shoulder injury that forced him off in last weekend's Grand Slam win over France.
The Cardiff Blues flanker suffered three different injuries during the Six Nations and there is concern that he may miss their Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster and Wales' June tour to Australia.
He has already undergone an MRI scan, but that proved inconclusive.
"Not much showed up on it," he said. "There is a bit of concern because I am still in quite a bit of discomfort. I am seeing a specialist tomorrow, and I will find out more then. The MRI scan did not show any soft tissue damage.
"It may be that it is more complicated than that, such as something to do with nerves, which would not have shown up. I do not know what to think - it could be two weeks, or it could be two months. I hope it is shorter, rather than longer.
"One of the reasons they are finding it difficult is that I cannot recall the incident in the game when it happened. If the physios knew when it happened then they could look at the video and see what sort of collision it was and what might have happened to the joint.
"There was a lineout when the ball was overthrown, and Julien Bonnaire beat me to the ball. I went to grab it, but I could not lift up my arm because of the pain. I knew then I would have go off at half-time. I have not watched the game back yet, and I will have to do so to see if it triggers something in my memory."
Warburton confirmed that it is not the same shoulder that he had reconstruction surgery on three years ago, but admitted that his pride had been hurt after he was forced to watch the second-half of Saturday's victory from the stands.
"I was embarrassed not to be able to play in the second-half, as well as shattered. It was the biggest game of my career," he said. "I felt guilty lifting the trophy because I could see the state of some of the players. Their bodies were hurting because they had tried so hard.
"I have been nursed in training throughout the campaign because I had been injured, and I felt that because they had had more game-time than me they deserved it more than me and I asked a couple of players if they wanted to lift the trophy."
Warburton, meanwhile, revealed he had a feeling Wales would make an impression on this season's Six Nations after reaching the World Cup semi-finals last autumn.
"After the World Cup semi-final, I had a feeling that something good would come out of it," he said. "I am not religious or superstitious, but what goes around comes around, and we deserved the Grand Slam for how hard we have worked since last June.
"It was our just reward. Losing the semi-final spurred us on and made us stronger. We went to Paris a year ago with an outside chance of winning the title, and I am not sure we handled that pressure mentally. This time it was different - it did not faze us."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.