Nield set for surgeryDate published: Tuesday, October 20, 2015
STEVEN Nield’s future at Oldham RL Club is in the balance as he prepares to go into hospital tomorrow (wed) for a major operation on his left knee.
He will have surgery at Oaklands Hospital, Salford to fix a torn anterior cruciate ligament and is unlikely to be ready to play again for nine to 12 months.
Injured at Keighley on May 31, the 24-year-old utility back picked up the clubman-of-the-year award at the Roughyeds’ promotion dinner for the support he gave to the team and all the work he happily undertook in a backroom role while all the time hiding his bitter disappointment at missing the second half of a fabulous season.
Visibly moved when stepping on stage to receive his award, he said: “That was a massive surprise. I never expected to get anything like this.”
He had played in eight of the first 13 games, scoring four tries, when his season came to an abrupt end in a harmless-looking incident at Cougar Park as he tried to wrong-foot an opponent while clearing Oldham’s line.
“The knee just buckled underneath me as I put pressure on it, and that was that. It was something and nothing yet it caused so much damage,” said Nield, who has been at his hometown club since he was 19.
Like Michael Ward, Danny Langtree, Phil Joy and Kenny Hughes, he was reared in the reserves before spending the last three seasons in Scott Naylor’s senior squad.
Roughyeds has been a large part of his life for the past five years, but he is out of contract now and likely to be out of action for most of the club’s crack at Championship rugby after nine seasons in the third tier.
He added: “I’m hoping to be playing again in nine or ten months, rather than 12 which is the worst scenario, but at best I’m going to be out for most of next season.
“For obvious reasons, I’ve not been offered a new contract, but the club is sticking by me and offering me as much help as possible and I’m very grateful to them for that.
“They’ll help me with everything I will have to do in rehabilitation; keep me involved; and do all they can to maintain my morale during the long lay-off.
“I’ll still be around the place, and helping out wherever I can, and beyond that the future is unknown. We’ll just have to see what happens and how well and how quickly I get over the operation.
“I hope to be firing on all cylinders again at some point next year.”