British and Irish Lions 2013: Lions lifted by return of Jamie Roberts and Alex Corbisiero
Both could be fit for final Test as Andy Farrell denies Mike Phillips was left out for breaking curfew
The British and Irish Lions were licking their considerable wounds yesterday as they reflected on a one-point defeat by Australia in a hard-fought second Test in Melbourne.
Amidst the carnage of an injury-littered clash, there was some good news though as two of the players suffering physical pain rather than the mental variety – Welsh centre Jamie Roberts and English prop Alex Corbisiero – will return to training this week and could feature in the weekend series decider in Sydney.
Roberts, one of the Lions' most effective players in South Africa four years ago, has been out for more than a fortnight after suffering a hamstring injury in the victory over New South Wales Waratahs.
He has been badly missed and his return for one last assault on the Wallabies would send the visitors' spirits soaring.
Corbisiero's absence was also noticeable on Saturday, when the Wallaby forwards made the Lions' scrum creak and forced the inexperienced Mako Vunipola to concede three penalties, two of which were kicked by Christian Leali'ifano. The prop picked up a calf strain in the first Test in Brisbane – a game in which he made a significant impact.
"Most of the players will have two days off, but Jamie and Alex will be going hard at it in an effort to get themselves back," said Andy Farrell, the Lions' defensive coach. "We're hoping they'll be alright for Wednesday, when we'll resume training and start building towards the biggest game of our lives."
Farrell added that the Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips, another star turn on the 2009 tour and a first-choice player here, had fully recovered from the knee injury that lay behind his non-appearance in Melbourne. There was some confusion over the reasons for his omission ahead of the game – Warren Gatland, the head coach, sent out mixed messages about his condition – and this led to speculation that Phillips might have been disciplined for breaking a curfew. But Farrell flatly rejected this idea.
"Mike? He's been as good as gold on this tour," he said. "He's been brilliantly professional, as you'd expect from a top, world-class player. He needed an injection to deal with inflammation in his knee and it put him out of training for two or three days. He's fine now. He's been in the pool, he's been running and he's ready to go."
On Tuesday, captain Sam Warburton will rejoin the squad here in Sydney after staying in Melbourne for a scan on a hamstring injury picked up in the second Test. His participation this weekend remains in doubt.
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Mutual contempt burns as rivals Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho face off again
Wayne Rooney is Premier League's richest footballer with £72million worth but Lewis Hamilton leads the Sunday Times Rich List
Memphis Depay to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal faces difficult task as Liverpool hold 'secret' meeting with transfer target
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers reveals transfer plans to sign a new striker to put Daniel Sturridge's future into doubt
- 1 Bruce Jenner's 'Interview of the year': Suicidal thoughts, rejection by family members and new wardrobe
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election