Onyango waiting till fully fit

Date published: Thursday, December 1, 2011

OLDHAM RL Club won’t be taking risks on the fitness of Lucas Onyango.

It’s seven months since he ruptured an Achilles tendon, but the Roughyeds’ medical staff will still insist on caution in setting a date for his long-awaited comeback.

The squad started pre-season fitness training at Borsdane Woods, near Wigan, last weekend and had its first session with a ball at Hopwood Hall on Tuesday.

Every player took part — except Onyango.

The winger did rehab sessions instead under the direction of club physiotherapist Rachael Johnson, who will be supervising his every move as he strives for full fitness over the next few weeks.

Said Rachael: “We’ve given him a rehab programme on which he will be working with me for the next month.

“We will then assess him again to decide whether he stays with me a while longer or whether he goes back to the squad.

“He’s working exceptionally hard, but there’s no rush. We will continue to monitor his progress and make decisions accordingly.”

Rachael, a physio at Wythenshawe Hospital, is looking forward to her fifth season with Roughyeds, while hopeful that she won’t have as much work to do.

“Surely, we won’t have so many long-term injuries again,” she said. “It was my most hectic season at the club, but with the exception of Lucas it was good to see everybody back in full training this week.

“In my time at the club I don’t think we’ve ever kept as many of the boys from one season to the next. That struck me forcibly at the first session.

“They were given a really tough ‘welcome back’ grilling, but they got through it admirably. I was proud of them.”

A keen and accomplished trampolinist, Rachael hopes to see Roughyeds bouncing along nicely in 2012 while working hard herself to qualify for the National Finals in trampolining, to be held in Birmingham in July.

Roughyeds have no shortage of forwards following the signings of Bruce Johnson, Danny Heaton, Paul Smith and Neil Rigby, but coach Tony Benson has acknowledged that he might need more bodies among the outside backs.

“We are on the look-out,” he said, “but we are in no hurry and we won’t be signing for the sake of it. If the right player came along though we could be interested.”

Benson was back from holiday in New Zealand in time to supervise Tuesday’s training — but only just.

“I had to dash straight from Manchester Airport,” he said. “After such a long flight it was surreal. But it was good to be back and to see that preparations are going well.”

They continue tonight at Whitebank.