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Wales captain Warburton suffers fractured cheekbone

Sam Warburton

Sam Warburton has featured in four of Cardiff Blues’ five Pro12 games this season

Wales captain Sam Warburton will have surgery on a fractured cheekbone and faces a race to be fit for the Test against Australia on 5 November.

The 27-year-old suffered the injury in a clash of heads with Josh van der Flier during Cardiff Blues’ 13-16 defeat by Leinster on Saturday.

Warburton will have a small plate inserted in his face. The Blues say he will be out for two to four weeks.

Wales play Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa in November.

Warburton’s injury is believed to be similar to one suffered by Dan Lydiate during the 2016 World Cup.

The Ospreys flanker missed only one match – the 15-6 loss to Australia – before returning to play in the quarter final against South Africa.

However, the injury adds to a back row injury headache for Wales coach Rob Howley, who is in charge while head coach Warren Gatland’s takes charge of the British and Irish Lions.

Lydiate has not played yet this season after undergoing surgery on a shoulder in June, while number eight Taulupe Faletau has been out since injuring knee ligaments on his Premiership debut for Bath on 3 September.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37536124