Wales captain set for surgery

by AFP

Wales captain Sam Warburton will have surgery on his fractured cheekbone but is still expected to feature in his country's forthcoming internationals.

Warburton clashed heads with Josh van der Flier in Cardiff's defeat against Leinster on Saturday and has been told by a specialist he will be sidelined for no more than a month after the operation.

"Warburton will have a small plate inserted in his cheekbone. It is estimated he will be out of action for approximately two to four weeks," a Cardiff statement read on Tuesday.

Sam Warburton featured in the 2013 Lions series. Photo: Getty ImagesBarring any setback, Warburton should be available for the opener against Australia in Cardiff on November 5.

And if the best possible prognosis proves correct, he could yet feature for Cardiff once more before the international break begins.

Wales interim head coach Rob Howley had already indicated Warburton would be back for a series of games that also sees Argentina, Japan and South Africa visit the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The 27-year-old flanker was British and Irish Lions captain in 2013 and is a leading contender to reprise that role in New Zealand next year.