Thommo “ready to go”

Date published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014

IN his own words Liam Thompson is “ready to go”.

Talking publicly for the first time of the horrific facial injury that has cut short his season by three months, the Oldham RL forward said it had been a long haul back to fitness after surgery to repair a shattered cheekbone that was fractured in three places.
The operation at Manchester Royal Infirmary in mid-March involved the use of surgical plates to rebuild and strengthen one side of his face.
Thompson (22) could do only limited exercise for several weeks after leaving hospital, but he has gradually built up his programme of rehabilitation over the past month or so.
“I’ve been in full training for a week and a half now and I’m delighted to report that all is well,” said the former Wigan and Widnes loose-forward, who was one of Scott Naylor’s first signings.
“For a long time after the operation, my face would swell up as soon as I tried to do much, so I was restricted to light exercising on the bike.
“It’s great to be back in full training with the squad and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to getting out there and getting my first game out of the way.
“The nerves in my face were also affected and, until it happens, I don’t know how it will feel if I take a whack on it
“I’ve been cleared to play by the medical people, but I haven’t been told yet when I’ll be called on. That’s down to Scott (Naylor) and when he thinks I’m ready.
“I feel fit and good and ready to go, but I don’t know when and where that will be because decisions like that are not down to me.”
A student of sports science at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, Thompson is in his second season at Whitebank.
He was injured in the 20-20 draw with Hemel Stags in the first home game of the season on March 9.
His defensive work in the middle of the field and around the rucks has been badly missed during the first half of the season.
Of the incident that was to rob Roughyeds of his hard work in eight league games and two cup ties, he said: “It was a freak accident.
“Kenny Hughes slipped me a short ball. As he let it go, he was smashed by a defender. The tackle was to have a domino affect. Kenny was thrown into me, we clashed heads, and I hit the deck with a sore face.”
Thompson was fully involved last night in what Naylor described as a “tough session” in the wake of a poor defensive performance in a 44-32 defeat at Hemel.
Though it was so bad that it caused him to be “embarrassed” it wasn’t on Naylor’s agenda when he talked with the players last night.
He said: “It’s a closed book now. I said all I had to say after the game. The focus now is for making sure we are ready for South Wales when they come to Whitebank on Sunday.”
He said everybody was fit apart from long-term injury victim Adam Files (knee), who is due to see a specialist before the end of the week.