Injury nightmare for Oldham

Date published: 24 March 2011

OLDHAM RL Club are dealing with a major injury crisis ahead of Sunday’s tough challenge against a strong Swinton Lions side at the Whitebank Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Out of a squad of 23 no fewer than 10 players are on the casualty list, three of whom are already out of this weekend’s game.

Teenage back Matthew Fogarty, who damaged a knee at Workington last Sunday in a collision with team-mate Mark Brocklehurst, has no chance of being fit in time.

First-choice left-wing John Gillam is out for a few weeks after an operation to repair a fractured cheek bone — and centre Marcus St Hilaire is still struggling with a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the last two games.

“I can tell you now that those three won’t play,” said harassed coach Tony Benson.

“It’s touch-and-go for a lot of the other guys, who will be queuing up for treatment at training tonight.

“We were lucky in 2010 in that we went the whole of the campaign without ever having to face a situation like this, which has hit us only two games into the new league season.

“We are behind the eight ball — and that’s putting it mildly.

“And just to show that it never rains but it pours, I had a text from Tom Wood-Hulme informing me that he had been involved in a car accident and was on his way to hospital with a sore back and neck.”

There are concerns about six more — Ben Heaton (tonsillitis), Martin Roden (hamstring), Luke Sutton (dead leg), Dave Ellison (ankle), Neil Roden (groin) and Ben Wood (ankle).

Heaton and Martin Roden didn’t play at Workington where Sutton, Ellison, Neil Roden and Wood picked up the injuries which threaten to keep them sidelined on Sunday.

Benson: “We’ll be monitoring them closely over the next few days, and hoping for the best.

“It’s just our luck that experienced men like Neil Roden, Martin Roden and Marcus St Hilaire are all hurt at the same time.

“Between them they fill the roles of captain, ex-captain, joint vice-captains, assistant coach and fitness conditioner.”