British and Irish Lions: Tommy Bowe has operation on his hand

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC.   Last Updated: 09/06/13 8:05am

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British and Irish Lions winger Tommy Bowe is to remain with the squad despite having surgery on his hand.

Bowe, who had looked a certain starter for the Test series, had impressed against the Reds in Brisbane - only to suffer a hand injury in the second half.

Tests revealed the Irishman had suffered a broken right hand, which appeared to spell an end to his tour.

However, Bowe has already had surgery and, although head coach Warren Gatland has called Simon Zebo up as cover, he still holds out hope of Bowe being able to play some part against Australia.

Although Bowe is set to have a plate inserted into the hand it is hoped he could be back playing in just two weeks.

"We just want to see how the operation goes," Gatland said.

"The surgeon who spoke to him said that if everything goes all right it could be just a couple of weeks. Once the plate is put in, the bones are fixed, basically."

A Lions statement on Bowe later read: "Bowe underwent surgery this morning to stabilise a bone fracture in his hand and his condition will be assessed over the next few days."

There is encouraging news, too, for Bowe's compatriot Rob Kearney, with the full-back back training fully and set to play against the Waratahs on Saturday.

Jonathan Sexton has been rested after complaining of a tight hamstring against the Reds, while Manu Tuilagi suffered a 'stinger' to his shoulder.

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