Double whammy of injuries and sickness

Date published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011

COACH Tony Benson and his Oldham RL first-team squad are reeling from the double whammy of injuries and sickness.

Club captain Neil Roden, who played against South Wales Scorpions last Sunday despite feeling groggy and unwell, has since been told to stay indoors while he battles to overcome a viral infection.

Full-back Ben Heaton has gone down with a recurrence of the tonsillitis that sidelined him for a couple of matches last month.

Youngster Matthew Fogarty was unwell in the early part of last week and several other players were under the weather before, during and after Sunday’s shock 40-20 defeat in Caerphilly.

There was little sign of improvement at last night’s training session when the club’s medical staff, headed by physiotherapist Rachael Johnson, faced a queue of players requiring assessment or treatment.

“We’re taking a pounding,” said Benson, “but all we can do is ride the punches. It helps a little bit to be without a game this weekend, but to be honest I can’t see there being any significant improvement on the injury front by the time we go to Swinton a week on Friday night, May 27.”

Biggest worries regarding injuries surround recent centre signing Mick Fogerty, who suffered serious damage to a knee in the second half at Caerphilly.

He will be examined in hospital later today, but Roughyeds think he has suffered a medial ligament tear which would probably keep him out for up to six weeks at the very least.

“That’s the club physio’s prognosis,” added Benson, “but she wouldn’t be surprised if it was even more serious, involving damage to the cruciate ligament.”

Prop Jason Boults, hurt in the first few minutes on Sunday when he went over on an ankle, won’t be fit to face Swinton, but he is targeting a comeback at Doncaster on Sunday, June 5.

Winger John Gillam, who damaged ligaments in a foot in the cup defeat at Hull on May 7, also hopes to be back for the Doncaster game, but his fellow winger Lucas Onyango (ruptured Achilles) will be out for many more weeks yet.

On a brighter note Marcus St Hilaire, who severely gashed a hand at work last week, has been assured that he hasn’t damaged any tendons — a huge relief for player and club because there were fears that serious tendon damage would have finished him for the season.

He will have his dressings off and stitches examined later today and it will then be a case of how quickly he can regain normal movement and usage.

Young prop Tom Wood-Hulme, sidelined for several weeks with a broken thumb, was back in training last night. He also hopes to ready for consideration for the Doncaster game.

Radio Manchester reporter Kevin Fitzpatrick, a former Roughyeds’ player, will be guest speaker at the club’s mid-season dinner at Whitebank on Thursday, May 26. For tickets, ring Janet at the club on 0161 628 3677.