Gatland set for heel operation

2012-09-25 06:52

London - British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland is to undergo a minor operation on his right heel on Friday.

The New Zealander broke both heels during a fall at his house in Waikato in April, delaying his appointment to lead next year's tour of Australia.

The Lions insist the surgery is a scheduled part of the 49-year-old's recovery programme.

"The operation to his right heel, which was broken in his much documented accident, will see Warren enter hospital on Friday," said a Lions statement issued on Monday.

"The procedure will entail treatment to an area of damaged and blistered skin. It is expected he will spend a few days in hospital after the procedure."

Gatland was appointed Lions coach this month, having previously led Wales to the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup and then a second Six Nations Grand Slam in four years.

It was initially feared Gatland's accident might prevent him from leading the Lions, but his recovery has eased those concerns.

In Australia, Gatland will try to lead the Lions to their first Test series win in 16 years.