Long haul back for NieldDate published: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
FOUR weeks into a post-operation fight for full fitness that could take up to a year, Steven Nield has said he is determined to win through and play rugby league again . . . hopefully still at Oldham.
As far as the medical people can tell so soon after major surgery to rebuild his left knee, the Roughyeds’ clubman of the year 2015 is on the road to recovery, albeit with a long way to travel.
“I’m told the operation was successful, but I’ve a lot of hard work ahead and at this early stage all I can do is play it by ear,” said Nield, who has had a full anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction at Oaklands Hospital in Salford.
He went down in a harmless-looking tackle at Keighley early last season and he hasn’t played since.
He is out of contract now and he hasn’t been offered a new one, for obvious reasons, but he was proud to be named clubman of the year and delighted to be assured that the club’s training and rehab facilities remain open to him.
Typically, he was present at the first night of pre-season training to meet up with the squad again after the seven-week break and to update the club’s medical team with the results of his operation.
He was getting around on one crutch by then, having had to use two for the first fortnight after his release from hospital.
“I’m slowly rebuilding my confidence and I can now walk a little bit unaided, but I’ve got to take things very steadily,” he added.
“I see the consultant again at the beginning of December, so I should have a better idea then about how things are progressing.
“The hospital physios have given me exercises to do and I’m also keeping in contact with the physios at the club,
“It’s going to be nine to 12 months of a job, but I’m determined to get there and then start thinking about playing again.
“The club have said they will help me all they can, even though I won’t be contracted, and I really appreciate that.”
Nield, who will be 25 on Friday, has had five seasons with his hometown club —- two in the reserves and three in the senior squad under Scott Naylor.
His best season was in 2014 (seven tries in 19 appearances) and in total he has played in 35 first-team games, mainly at full-back or on the wing, scoring 15 tries.