Lions suffer Tommy Bowe injury blow
June 8, 2013
Tommy Bowe's tour looks to be over following a bruising clash in Brisbane © PA Photos
The British & Irish Lions look set to lose their third player in just two days with winger Tommy Bowe poised to be ruled out of the remainder of the tour with a hand injury.
Bowe was forced off the field in the 45th minute of the Lions' 22-12 victory over the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday night and after the game coach Warren Gatland revealed that the Ulster winger is set to return home. The loss of Bowe follows that of prop Cian Healy who was ruled out with an ankle injury on Friday and earlier today his fellow loose-head Gethin Jenkins admitted defeat in his battle to overcome a calf injury.
Gatland said of Bowe's injury: "It doesn't look too good at the moment with Tommy. It looks like he's broken a bone in his hand and the doctors say he'll probably need an operation."
And then when asked whether Bowe's injury was tour ending, Gatland added: "I would say so, you can deduct that from that."
Asked about a possible replacement, he added: "We will probably talk about that (a replacement) tonight, and we've got an early press conference tomorrow to name the team for Tuesday's game. We probably will bring out someone. Tommy, the experience he brings, and being able to play right-wing, left-wing, centre and fullback. He is a big loss for us."
Brian O'Driscoll and Warren Gatland reflect on form and fitness
Gatland has already called up England prop Alex Corbisiero and his Scotland counterpart Ryan Grant to cover their front-row injuries and if Bowe is ruled out of the tour, he will look to bring in a replacement for the winger. Simon Zebo could get the nod while Gatland and his coaching staff may keep a close eye on Christian Wade who is running out for England against Argentina later on Saturday.
But in a boost for the Lions, Manu Tuilagi should make a quick recovery after he was forced off early in the first-half with a shoulder injury. Gatland said: "He's fine, he just had a bit of a stinger. Just a bit of a dead arm and lost a bit of feeling from that."
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