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Wales skip Warburton fractures cheekbone

AAP logoAAP 4/10/2016 Duncan Bech

Wales captain Sam Warburton requires surgery on his fractured cheekbone but is still expected to feature in all four of Wales' autumn international rugby Tests.

Warburton clashed heads with Josh van der Flier in Cardiff Blues' 16-13 defeat by Leinster on Saturday and has been told by a specialist he will be sidelined for no more than a month.

"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 Blues statement read.

The positive injury update means that barring any setback, Warburton should be available for the autumn opener against Australia in Cardiff on November 5.

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

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

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

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