Palfrey in fitness fight for opener

Date published: Thursday, February 26, 2015
LEWIS Palfrey is locked in a touch-and-go fight for fitness ahead of Oldham’s first game of the season at Whitebank on Sunday.
The Roughyeds’ half-back and captain had a hernia operation six weeks ago and has always had his sights set on this weekend’s first-round League One cup-tie against third-tier new boys Coventry Bears (3pm).
He will be assessed at tonight’s training session and may be given until Saturday before a final decision is made.
“His rehab has been going well, but I think it’s fair to say his prospects for Sunday at this stage are in the balance,” said coach Scott Naylor.
“We’ll be monitoring him closely, but if he isn’t available for selection this week he should certainly be right for the following Sunday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup third-round tie, which is also against Coventry at Whitebank.
“He has worked extremely hard to get himself fit for this weekend. If he doesn’t make it, it won’t be for the lack of trying.”
Danny Langtree (hamstring) and Liam Thompson (shoulder) are also doubtful.
‘Langers’ formed a lethal second-row partnership with Josh Crowley last year. They were joint players of the year — judged by Naylor — and the former St Helens youngster (now 23) also carried off the players’ player-of-the-year award.
Added Naylor: “He certainly won’t want to miss this season’s opener, but we’ll have to wait and see. There’s still a few days before the game.”
Thompson, who tweaked a shoulder in the pre-season run-out at Leigh, is expected to be fit,
No such luck, however, for young forward Richard Joy, who suffered a fractured eye socket in the same game and will be sidelined for a few weeks.
Club chairman Chris Hamilton, meanwhile, has given an upbeat message to fans on the eve of the new season.
He can be heard on BBC Radio Manchester’s ‘Rugby League Extra’ programme tonight (6pm to 7pm), looking ahead to the new campaign with representatives of derby rivals Rochdale Hornets and Swinton Lions.