Oldham seek answer to injury problems

Date published: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

INJURY-RAVAGED Oldham RL have two objectives as they strive to find a winning formula for Sunday’s crucial clash with Whitehaven at Whitebank (3pm).
The first is to get some of their walking wounded back in harness.
The second is to bolster the squad with a couple of new faces.
Club officials sent out a message today, assuring fans they are working overtime on both missions.
Last night’s get-together was more of a medical assessment session than a training run, but coaching staff and players are closing ranks in readiness for the weekend’s backs-to-the-wall battle.
Prop Dave Ellison is the latest addition to the casualty list, having picked up a hamstring injury in last Sunday’s loss at Doncaster.
The list currently numbers 12, of whom three have broken bones and two more can also be classed as long-term casualties.
Of the rest, Mark McCully and Danny Whitmore have the best chance of getting the all-clear as each is recovering from flu.
Alex Thompson (groin), Paul Noone (ankle) and Ellison are said to be making steady progress, but it is too early yet to say whether any of them will be ready in time.
Utility back Chris Murphy, who smashed a knee pre-season and has since failed to respond to treatment, will have a scan tomorrow.
Winger Shaun Robinson, who broke a hand at the Keepmoat Stadium, has an appointment with the fracture clinic.
Paul Smith (hamstring) and Chris Clarke (shoulder) are likely to be out for a few more weeks yet.
Said chairman Chris Hamilton: “Bringing in new players isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight, but a couple of fresh faces right now would come in handy and we are working hard with that in mind.”
Due to the injury crisis, the club will look at tomorrow night’s scheduled reserve team game at York and discuss player availability with coach Paul Ashton, who had only three subs against Keighley last Thursday.
More information, meanwhile, has emerged about the Matthew Fogarty situation.
Due to work commitments he was given permission to miss training last Tuesday on condition that he would report early on Thursday.
He didn’t show at all on Thursday or on Saturday, for the final session of the week, and coach Tony Benson didn’t get any telephone calls of explanation.
Said Benson: “I didn’t hear anything from Foggy after Tuesday, but it wasn’t a case of him not returning my calls.”
The club points out, however, that if any player is going to miss a training session the onus is on him to ring in and explain why.
Fans wishing to travel on the free bus to Whitebank on Sunday from The Junction, Ripponden Road (depart 2pm) must ring 0161 633 2759 to reserve a place.