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INPHO/Billy Stickland Tommy Bowe at the yatt Hotel, Melbourne yesterday.
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I text my family to say it was game over, says comeback kid Tommy Bowe
The Ulsterman will get his tour back on track tomorrow in Melbourne.

TOMMY BOWE SAYS he knows how lucky he is to be facing into tomorrow’s second Lions Test as a starter.

The Ulster wing admitted yesterday he thought his tour was ‘curtains’ when he fractured a bone in his hand three weeks ago while in action for the tourists.

“I was pretty much told it was curtains,” the Monaghan man told reporters yesterday. “I mean whenever I hurt my hand on the side of the pitch, the doctor just said ‘I’m sorry’.

“The X-rays all just showed a fracture, a spiral fracture down through the metacarpal. Until pretty much the doctor Eanna Falvey called the surgeon and he was the one who said I’ve had Rugby League guys come back within three weeks of that. So that was kind of the shining light, the opportunity that I could get back.

“My family and all are over here at the minute and I text them: game over. And I thought that was it and then maybe when I got that little bit of information it was maybe a quarter to 12 and they were back in the hotel and yeah, as you say, a range of emotions.

“To go from the low of thinking your tour is over to think that you have a chance. I didn’t know if I’d be back in time for the Test matches but there’s always that opportunity and to get picked now is even higher emotion.”

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Warren Gatland for his part has shown no hesitation in backing Bowe to make an impact despite the lay-off.

“He’s obviously quality,” the Lions head coach said at the pre-game press conference in Melbourne. “He’s a fantastic player for Ireland and for Ulster and (it’s great) having that experience to come back into the side. He has made a fantastic recovery from injury,  the medics have done a brilliant job bringing him back and he’s started really well this week.

“Credit to the surgeon who performed the operation because there were other surgeons who were saying it was a 6-8 week injury and he was confident enough that he could have him back in three weeks if he looked after himself.

“It’s what you expect from a professional sportsman. Not just him, all the players have been conscientious of recovering and looking after themselves if they’ve had a bit of a knock. He just epitomises one of 38 or 39 of the squad.”

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