Gillam faced with a possible month out of action

Date published: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

UNLUCKY John Gillam, the injured Oldham RL winger, fears he could be out of action for a month, or more.

Following a facial specialist’s examination on his broken nose and fractured eye socket he will have an operation tomorrow (thurs) in North Manchester General Hospital.

“I will be in hospital overnight,” he said, “and the way the medical people are talking it looks like I won’t be playing again for at least another month.

“The socket is fractured just below the eye and repairing that will be the surgeon’s main concern, but he will straighten my nose at the same time.”

Gillam was injured in the Northern Rail Cup game against Whitehaven at Whitebank on February 27 when he went hard and low for the Cumbrians’ try line only to be smashed in the face by a stray knee.

“A defender slid across to stop me scoring,” he added, “and I took the full force of his knee in my face. I thought at first the damage was restricted to my nose, but after a night’s sleep the whole area around my eye was swollen and I couldn’t see.

“It’s frustrating because it’s a case of deja vu. In the second Northern Rail Cup game last year I smashed my shoulder and I was out for ten weeks, missing two more Northern Rail Cup games, two Challenge Cup ties and the first five league games.

“I’m not going to be out for anything like as long as that this time, but I’m still gutted at the prospect of missing the next few league games”

Gillam’s fellow winger Lucas Onyango, who has cleared a two-match ban, will be back in contention for a return to the side at Workington on Sunday.

Prop Dave Ellison and hooker John Clough, who both missed the opening day league win against Gateshead Thunder because of work commitments, are also expected to be available.

However, Marcus St Hilaire (hamstring) is unlikely to travel to Cumbria and hooker Martin Roden, who has a similar injury, will be restricted to a dug-out role in his capacity as assistant coach.

Roden pulled up midway through the first half last Sunday when he was replaced by Danny Whitmore and took no further part in the game.

“Martin is struggling to walk right now, let alone play,” said coach Tony Benson, who is also keeping an eye on the fitness of teenage winger Matthew Fogarty and centre or second-row man Ben Wood, who both picked up ankle strains in last Sunday’s 66-12 win.

Roughyeds Reserves play their first league game against Widnes Vikings at Whitebank on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm) following the postponement of their scheduled opener at York last Thursday when high winds in that part of Yorkshire blew down the goal posts.