British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland named his 41-man squad last week but five key players are under injury clouds ahead of the tour of New Zealand.

The team doesn't arrive in the country until late May but some players are running out of time to get fully match fit before the opening clash against the New Zealand Barbarians on June 3.

It's not just the tourists hit with injury concerns with Jerome Kaino facing six weeks following knee surgery.

Kaino joins some big All Blacks names also sitting on the sidelines and missing Super Rugby action due to various ailments.


Here's a breakdown of the key injury concerns for both the Lions and the All Blacks.


Sam Warburton

The Lions captain and flanker has been out of action since April 10 with a knee injury and will have to find form and fitness on tour.

Peter O'Mahony
Irish loosie and lineout ace departed with a head injury during Munster's loss to Saracens last weekend. There are no assessment reports.

Conor Murray
Outstanding Irish halfback in doubt to make the tour because of a shoulder/neck injury suffered during the Six Nations which has also given him arm weakness. Due to see a neurologist about "persistent nerve pain" but Gatland says he must play for Munster prior to the tour.

Sean O'Brien
The Irish loose forward has been plagued by hamstring problems and is back training with Leinster after the latest one. With his injury history - he's had close to 20 surgeries - O'Brien will beat the odds if he makes and lasts the tour

Alun Wyn Jones
The world class lock, a back-up captaincy candidate, suffered a shoulder injury playing for Wales mid-March. Avoided surgery, back training and may play for Ospreys next week.


Dane Coles

The ace hooker injured a knee in mid-March and the Hurricanes have taken a cautious approach to his return. Should be back next week to face the Stormers. Of the currently injured players, Coles is the one the All Blacks will be keenest to see back.

Israel Dagg
Latest prediction is he will get five Crusaders matches before the Lions arrive, following minor right knee surgery after a Super Rugby round three injury.

Elliot Dixon
The Highlanders' fringe test loose forward was hospitalised with a knee infection last week. Could return to action in South Africa next week.

Nehe Milner-Skudder
Magical, injury-prone outside back still resting with toe fractures suffered six weeks ago. Rehab has taken longer than expected - might face the Cheetahs on May 20 and prospect for the Maori team to play the Lions a week before the first test.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow
The Chiefs' France -bound halfback and fringe test prospect was concussed in Perth during the latest Super Rugby round.

Patrick Tuipulotu
Suffered a traing-ground back injury this month and is a week-to-week proposition.