British & Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric may yet take part in Wales’ summer tour to South Africa, the Ospreys have confirmed.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland, who guided the Lions to a first series win in 16 years last year, had raised fears that Tipuric requires surgery to resolve a shoulder problem.
He has been named in the Ospreys’ side for Sunday’s clash with Newport Gwent Dragons at the Millennium Stadium but the Welsh region have confirmed that Tipuric will need surgery on his shoulder.
But they have not laid out a specific time frame, ensuring the 24-year-old made six appearances for the Lions last summer, including coming off the bench in the Sydney Test, may well face the Springboks.
"Justin has an ongoing shoulder problem which, although it doesn't impact on his playing ability, has been restricting his ability to train fully in the gym," said Ospreys medical performance manager Chris Towers.
"He will need keyhole surgery at some point, to enable him to continue playing to his full ability.
"No decision had been made on timings at this stage but whatever the decision, it will be made in full consultation with the player, and will be in his best long-term interests."