Ireland’s Jared Payne has been ruled out of the remainder of the British and Irish Lions tour amid an uncertain recovery period owing to migraine symptoms.
The luckless Ireland centre had been dogged by a calf problem for the majority of the Lions’ New Zealand tour - but is now suffering from migraines.
The 31-year-old was a late withdrawal before kick-off from the Lions’ 31-31 draw with the Hurricanes in Wellington last week.
The Ulster star has stayed on in Wellington for further tests, and will continue to be stood down while his migraine symptoms persist.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland said: “While the findings of Jared’s tests have been normal he still has migraines and will not be fit to train until his symptoms have settled.
“The specialists are happy that the symptoms are not concussion related and he is expected to recover fully.
“We wish him a speedy recovery.”
The Lions will face New Zealand in Auckland in Saturday’s Test series decider, but Ireland’s Payne would have been unlikely to feature.
Payne suffered a lacerate kidney in Ireland’s 27-24 win over Australia in November last year, and went on to battle calf issues in the latter half of the campaign.
The New Zealand-born centre fared remarkably in finding fitness at all for the Lions’ tour of his homeland.
But now he faces another period on the sidelines, with his recovery timeline still difficult to plot.
Lions medical chief Dr Eanna Falvey had explained on Tuesday that Payne had remained in Wellington to undergo further tests with specialists.
“He had a bang in the Chiefs game, but he was fully cleared from concussion,” said Falvey.
“But he’s been struggling with migraine and that’s an independent process since then.”
Asked how long Payne could be sidelined, Falvey continued: “Jared’s slightly more difficult.
“Thankfully all his tests have been good. He’s suffering from migraine symptoms at the moment.
“The specialist is quite happy with him. He’ll have a couple more minor tests, and that will give us more idea. But while he still has a headache he won’t be training.”