Ford back in light training

Date published: Thursday, September 5, 2013

JON Ford has resumed light training with Oldham, raising hopes that he might be fit for the Championship One play-off at Whitebank on Sunday week, September 15.

“It’s a possibility — no more than that, but he is giving us reason to hope,” said coach Scott Naylor.

Despite missing the last two games of the regular season with a dislocated elbow, Ford was the second highest try-scorer in Championship One.

His haul of 15 league tries, which included two hat-tricks and a four, was bettered only by North Wales winger Rob Massam’s 18.

Centre Ford (19) was hurt minutes from the end of Oldham’s 44-24 win at London Skolars on August 4 and up to a few days ago it was felt the best he could hope for was to be ready for the play-off final on September 29 in the event of Roughyeds getting there.

Added Naylor: “That could still be the case, but the fact that he is well enough now to join in training again has given us a lot more hope.

“He hasn’t started full contact work yet, but it’s good to see him out with the other lads again doing skill drills. That in itself is good news.

“His rehab has gone very well and it’s just a matter of time now before he feels ready mentally to play rugby again. It’s going to be mainly up to him.

“We’re still ten days away from our big game against Rochdale or London and once a player with this type of injury has reached the stage Jon is at now a lot of progress can be made in ten days.

“I think it’s reasonable to say that if he doesn’t quite make it for a week on Sunday, he would almost certainly be ready for whatever is in store for us after that.”

Forwards Michael Ward and Mark Hobson have had treatment for knocks picked up in the friendly with a young Leigh Centurions squad, but there is no cause for alarm.

Explaining why he has abandoned plans to have another friendly, Naylor said: “I didn’t want to go a month without a serious run-out, but I think we can manage with the one extra game.

“It served its purpose. It kept us ticking over.

“Fitness isn’t an issue so I don’t see the point of another game now.”

Roughyeds will train tonight and again on Saturday before enjoying their day off on Sunday when Rochdale and London clash at Spotland (3pm) for the right to come to Whitebank seven days later.