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Mixed messages over Warren Whiteley's projected return date

By Tom Webber
Lions captain Warren Whiteley

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Lions captain Warren Whiteley’s return from injury has been delayed further, but coach Swys de Bruin says a comeback is “around the corner”.

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Number eight Whiteley, who spent half of 2017 out with a groin issue, has been sidelined since damaging his posterior cruciate ligament in the Super Rugby clash with the Blues in Johannesburg in March.

The 30-year-old, considered a leading contender to skipper South Africa when they begin their new era under Rassie Erasmus with Tests against Wales and England in June, was expected to return for the Lions’ four-game Australasia tour but suffered a setback in his recovery.

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And Whiteley will not be back in action in the home match against the Brumbies on Saturday, which is one of the Lions’ two remaining fixtures before the international break.

De Bruin explained the back-row forward wants to be absolutely sure of his fitness before getting back on the pitch.

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“Warren is a racehorse kind of guy. The doctors can say he’s OK, but he needs to know he is 100 per cent,” said De Bruin.

“It’s around the corner. We’re hoping that it’s soon.”

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