Sam Warburton is currently recovering from shoulder surgery
British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton admits he has learned to accept that injuries are part and parcel of his position as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery.
Since guiding the Lions to an historic success in Australia last summer, flanker Warburton has suffered several setbacks - with a dislocated shoulder sustained on international duty currently holding him back.
He is expected to return to fitness in July, by which time Warren Gatland's Wales will have completed their two-Test tour in South Africa.
Warburton believes he can emerge fresh and enjoy an injury-free run next year - but is under no illusions that more injuries may be lurking around the corner.
"All three injuries were from jackaling, so it's sort of the nature of my position," Warburton told Wales Online. "It's been similar to the period around the 2011 World Cup.
"I had a decent run going into that tournament. I played for 18 months, I went to the World Cup and then my body was breaking down for the year after that.
"It's sort of similar this time. I played a good 18 months of rugby through to the Lions tour and since then I've been blitzed again with injuries.
"It seems to be a two-year cycle, where you face the consequences after a major tournament. It's the cumulative effect that rugby has on you, I guess.
"I'm used to being injured as much as I am playing. It's just my position, I've just accepted it. I used to get pretty upset and down about injuries when I was younger.
"But now I appreciate it just the way my body and my position is."