Alun Wyn Jones could make surprise return to Lions squad following rapid recovery from injury

Alun Wyn Jones could make a surprise return to the Lions squad following a rapid recovery Credit: PA Images

Alun Wyn Jones could make a surprise return to the British and Irish Lions team after making a rapid recovery from injury.

The Welsh Lock dislocated his shoulder six minutes into the opening match against Japan more than two weeks ago. It was initially thought the injury would end his tour early.

Warren Gatland is expected to make a decision on Tuesday on whether Alun Wyn will play South Africa.

The Lions head coach said, "A few weeks ago we didn't think there was an option and he's been back fully training with Wales. He's trained this week with them.

"I think he's doing a double session tomorrow (Tuesday) with them and we'll have to see what the outcome of that is.

"He's made a remarkable recovery from that injury which isn't as bad they first thought.

"That's a real positive and it would be a boost to the squad having someone of his experience and calibre to come in."

The Welsh player was chosen as the original Lions captain, but has since been replaced by Irish scrum-half Conor Murray.

If he is given the all-clear to rejoin the squad at their new base outside Cape Town, his first opportunity to play will be against the Stormers on Saturday.

The Welsh player's shoulder injury was initially thought to have ended his tour early Credit: PA Images

Alun Wyn Jones is the world's most-capped rugby union player, with 157 international appearances - 148 for Wales and nine for the British and Irish Lions.

England second row and teammate, Maro Itoje, says he would welcome the miracle comeback.

"Alun Wyn is a great player. He was our captain for this tour and we want the best players here.

"He comes with a massive amount of experience. This is his fourth tour. He's a great player and a great person to have around. If he's fit and healthy, then it would be great to have him around.

"Initially everybody thought he was out. He thought himself that he was out! But all things can happen with hard work and preparation and dedication. He has that in abundance.

"If he's able to come out, I'm sure the Lions will sort him out with a nice private jet and he'll fly quickly straight over to Cape Town. If he's here that will help our cause."