Alun Wyn Jones to incredibly REJOIN British and Irish Lions squad in South Africa after 35-year-old makes miraculous recovery from dislocated shoulder just over TWO weeks ago
Alun Wyn Jones’ miraculous Lions comeback is complete with the lock is cleared for travel to South Africa on Thursday.
The 35-year-old went through an arduous double-training session with Wales at their Vale of Glamorgan base on Tuesday to prove his fitness.
In the morning he worked with Wayne Pivac’s forwards, and then later joined a full-contact team session.
Alun Wyn Jones’ miraculous Lions comeback after a dislocated shoulder is complete
The 35-year-old suffered the injury against Japan on June 26 but has made a speedy recovery
Jones only dislocated his shoulder in the pre-tour warm up game against Japan 18 days ago, but has managed to recover without surgery.
Jones’ Welsh training sessions went well, and after Sportsmail broke the story that he was to return, the Lions have confirmed their tour captain is to rejoin the squad after further assessments were passed on Wednesday morning.
‘We are delighted to welcome Alun Wyn back,’ said Lions boss Warren Gatland.
‘It’ll come as no surprise to anyone who knows Alun Wyn that since injuring his shoulder against Japan, he’s done everything he can to get himself back.
‘It’s remarkable really when you consider it’s just 18 days since he left us in Edinburgh.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland is ‘delighted’ to have the 35-year-old with the squad again
‘He’s been training with the Wales squad at the Vale since last week and yesterday he had a proper hit out. Following assessment from the medical staff this morning we’re satisfied he’s fit to return.
‘He’s obviously raring to go and from what I’ve seen on video and the feedback we’ve received, he’s certainly not been holding himself back in training. He was really getting stuck in yesterday.’
Jones’ arrival will come as a massive boost to the tourists, who are currently being led by Irish scrum-half Conor Murray.
The second row now has the extraordinary chance to cement his name further among legends of the game on his fourth tour. If he manages to play in the Tests not only will it be a remarkable comeback but he will also become the first professional era Lion to play 10 Tests.
The last to do that was Welsh prop Graham Price in the 1970s and 1980s.
Jones will still face a race to make the Test side, likely having to isolate for a couple of days before he can be fully re-integrated back into the Lions bubble in Cape Town.
He faces competition for a lock spot with front-runners Maro Itoje, Iain Henderson as well as Courtney Lawes, Jonny Hill and his initial replacement Adam Beard.
The Welsh side, preparing for their second Argentina Test on Saturday, were stunned to see their skipper in such fine fettle. Jones trained with them on Friday, and twice on Tuesday as well as completing private rehabilitation sessions.
Centre Nick Tompkins said of Jones: ‘It’s like he’s doing everything as normal – it’s mental. I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s dislocated his shoulder! It’s Lazarus! The level of competitiveness is freakish as there’s no let up.’
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