Wales prop Samson Lee has a ’50-50′ chance of making the World Cup after picking up an Achilles injury, according to head coach Warren Gatland.
Lee was injured during last Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations victory over Ireland and is now touch and go for the World Cup later this year.
Lee lasted just 14 minutes of the Ireland game and Gatland has confirmed the player suffered a full rupture of his Achilles.
Gatland remains optimistic of his chances but admits it is too early to say whether or not he will make it the World Cup.
“We were hoping he (Lee) was going to have surgery on Monday, but there was too much swelling, and it has been put back a week,” he said.
“He is a 50-50 chance for the World Cup, but we are confident he has enough time to get back and be available for the World Cup.
“If things go well, he will not be far away.”
Ospreys prop Aaron Jarvis will replace Lee for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Italy in Rome, with loosehead Rob Evans taking over from Gethin Jenkins, who has a hamstring problem.
There are also call-ups on the bench for hooker Ken Owens, props Rhys Gill and Scott Andrews and scrum-half Gareth Davies, with Mike Phillips missing out.
Wales are priced at 7.00 to win the Six Nations and are 17.00 to win the World Cup, with New Zealand the 2.25 favourites.