Warburton returns to skipper the Lions against the Highlanders on Tuesday having shaken off the issue that kept him out of Saturday's victory over the Crusaders.
However, the Cardiff Blues flanker says he must prove he is firing on all cylinders if he is to make Warren Gatland's starting XV in Auckland on June 24.
"If I play Tuesday and I still feel I'm a bit undercut, then I might not be ready for that first Test," said Warburton.
"Maybe that would be the situation, or maybe I could have a blinder on Tuesday and feel absolutely fine, so we'll see how it goes really.
"I'll be honest with Gats and Gats will be honest with me.
"I definitely need more games. I definitely admit that and I knew that coming into the tour.
"I've learned from experience that it takes me at least two games and then the third game I'll probably be playing some good rugby, but Gats knew that.
"I've received this role as tour captain and I know there's every chance that I might not even get involved in that first Test because there's every other player.
"I see it as I'm tour captain, and if I've made the Test then that would be a bonus for me, but I've said there are three Tests to get selected for so it's not the be-all and end-all with the first one."