England captain Chris Robshaw has revealed that his decision not to undergo shoulder surgery was driven by next month's Six Nations Championship opener against Wales in Cardiff.
Robshaw is set to return to action on Saturday when his club Harlequins tackle Aviva Premiership rivals Leicester.
Had Robshaw gone down the surgery route, he would have faced three months out, missing the entire Six Nations campaign.
England skipper Chris Robshaw could become the country's third captain of the professional era to be overlooked for a Lions tour following Phil de Glanville (1997) and Steve Borthwick (2009).
With Wales' Sam Warburton pitched as the bookies' favourite for the British and Irish Lions captaincy, he may have seen off competition from Irish pair Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscol.
It is thought there will be few surprise selections, and none of the players will know about their Lions selection until tour manager Andy Irvine reads out the names during a mid-morning press conference.
The ten-match tour begins in Hong Kong against the Barbarians on June 1, followed by games in Australia, including three Test match appointments with the Wallabies.