Tipuric concern for Ospreys

  • Last Updated: April 17 2014, 20:11 BST

Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric has emerged as Wales' latest potential fitness concern ahead of their tour to South Africa in June.

Justin Tipuric: Has a shoulder problem
Justin Tipuric: Has a shoulder problem

The Ospreys have confirmed the 24-year-old Tipuric has "an ongoing shoulder problem".

Wales coach Warren Gatland is already without Tipuric's fellow British and Irish Lions Sam Warburton and Leigh Halfpenny for the South Africa trip, which features Test matches in Durban and Nelspruit on June 14 and 21.

Flanker Warburton and full-back Halfpenny both suffered dislocated shoulder injuries during this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship.

A fully-fit Tipuric would be the obvious replacement for Warburton in Wales' number seven shirt.

Hooker Richard Hibbard, meanwhile, is a major tour doubt due to a shoulder problem, and scrum-half Rhys Webb underwent keyhole knee surgery earlier this month.

Webb started the Six Nations games against France and England after being preferred for starting duties to Mike Phillips.

Assessing Tipuric's situation, Ospreys medical performance manager Chris Towers said: "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.

"He will need keyhole surgery at some point to enable him to continue playing to his full ability.

"No decision has 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."

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