Joy in fitness fight

PROP Phil Joy, who took a bang on the thigh in the 38-16 win against Dewsbury Rams, will be assessed at training tonight ahead of Oldham RL Club’s KP Championship game at Featherstone Rovers on Sunday (3pm).

He is thought to have a good chance of making it, although he will be closely monitored over the next few days by club physio Patrick Hoyte.
Joy has had three big games against London Broncos, Leigh Centurions and the Rams and Roughyeds will be anxious for him to prove his fitness and to produce more of the same at the Big Fella’s Stadium, better known to Oldham fans as Post Office Road.
Three games in and coach Scott Naylor still hasn’t had dual-registration reinforcements from Huddersfield Giants, this mainly because the Giants themselves have major injury problems.
It remains to be seen whether that situation will change this weekend.
If not, and given that Craig Briscoe is out for the season and new signing Gary Middlehurst needs more time to prepare, Naylor will be expected to choose from last week’s 17 plus Steve Roper, Jon Ford, Adam Files and Jamel Chisholm.
Featherstone’s scheduled game at Whitehaven last Saturday was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, so they go into the Oldham game on the back of a 22-12 defeat at Bradford and a 14-12 home win over Batley Bulldogs.
In a similar injury setback to that suffered by Briscoe and Oldham, they have lost new-boy hooker Matty Wildie with a long-term injury and have failed in a bid to replace him with York’s Kriss Brining.
The clubs agreed a transfer arrangement, but the player opted to stay with the City Knights even though his earnings at the Big Fella’s Stadium would have netted him roughly double what he’s on at York.
Describing the loss of Wildie as “a massive blow”, Rovers boss Jon Sharp said: “We’ve been working with Matty’s speed and distribution from dummy half since the start of pre-season games, but now its back to the drawing board.”

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