John Gillam is looking forward to putting on his rugby boots again

Date published: Tuesday, March 22, 2011

OLDHAM winger John Gillam is out of hospital and looking forward to putting on his rugby boots again after an operation to repair a fractured eye socket and a smashed nose.

It isn’t known yet how long it will be before the 26-year-old former Oldham St Anne’s speed merchant can play again, but he will soon be ready to resume light training.

“The operation was successful and John is already raring to go, but he will have to take things slowly and be patient,” said club chairman Chris Hamilton.
 
“You would expect him to be restricted to non-contact training, but it has been stressed to us that there is even a lot of non-contact stuff that he mustn’t do. We’ve got to manage his rehab very carefully indeed.”
 
Gillam, who was injured on February 27 when trying to crash over the Whitehaven try line through a packed defence, had his operation on Friday at North Manchester General Hospital.
 
He is one of several players on the Roughyeds casualty list as coach Tony Benson sets about preparing his troops for Sunday’s visit of a strong Swinton Lions side to Whitebank (3pm kick off).
 
Full-back Ben Heaton, who had severe tonsillitis, was forced to pull out of the squad that was beaten 31-12 at Workington last Sunday after spending part of Friday in hospital.
 
Also absent through injury were two of the squad’s most experienced players in joint vice-captains Martin Roden and Marcus St Hilaire, both of whom are having treatment for hamstring injuries.
 
Hooker Roden, whose full-time job is in the health and fitness business, has been having daily treatment and physiotherapy and might make it in time.
 
Also to be checked out will be teenage wing or centre Matthew Fogarty, who took a painful blow to the knee at Derwent Park after colliding with team mate Mark Brocklehurst when both went to kill a loose ball in Oldham’s in-goal area. Fogarty soldiered on until well into the second half when he hobbled off.
 
The next meeting of the Oldham Roughyeds’ Supporters Association (ORSA), open to all fans, will be at Whitebank on Friday, April 15 (8pm).
 
Upcoming functions include a Quiz Night at Whitebank on Friday, April 8 (8pm) and a Race Night at St Stephen’s Community Club, in conjuction with Higginshaw ARLFC, on Friday, May 6.
 
ORSA official Paul Whalley, who is looking for volunteer helpers, can be contacted on 07796631192 or by email at PW4856@aol.com