Ken Owens expected to be fit for British and Irish Lions

Lions head coach Warren Gatland smiles after their victory during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and British & Irish Lions at ANZ Stadium on July 6, 2013
© Getty Images
Ken Owens is "improving every day and is very upbeat" about playing a part for the British and Irish Lions this summer, according to Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac.

Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac has moved to ease concerns over the fitness of hooker Ken Owens, claiming that he is on track to be fit for the British and Irish Lions' tour of New Zealand.

The 30-year-old was absent for his club side's 25-17 triumph over Leinster in Dublin on Friday due to an ankle problem, potentially opening the door for England skipper Dylan Hartley to earn a surprise call-up.

Reports in the British press earlier this week suggested that Hartley was waiting by should Owens be declared unfit to play a part in this summer's tour, but Pivac expects his player to soon be back on the field.

"Ken is improving every day and is very upbeat," BBC Sport quotes him as saying. "By all accounts he is progressing well. We would like him to improve for next weekend but we are not sure there is the time."

The Lions fly out on May 29, five days before their first tour match against New Zealand Provincial Barbarians.

Jake Ball of Wales in action during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on March 9, 2014
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