JAMEL Chisholm and Danny Grimshaw are out of Oldham’s Summer Bash derby clash with Swinton Lions at Blackpool on Sunday, Chisholm with a seriously damaged finger and Grimshaw with a groin injury.
They are the latest victims of an injury jinx which began in pre-season and has continued since, currently claiming Chisholm, Grimshaw, Craig Briscoe (knee), Jack Spencer (hand), Richard Lepori (shoulder) and Jon Ford (knee).
Scott Naylor said it was too early to estimate how long Chisholm and Grimshaw would be sidelined, but he revealed that the winger’s finger was “a real mess” and that he might require surgery.
Tom Ashton, out for nearly three months after an operation to remove a burst appendix, is now off the casualty list and is included in a 21-man provisional squad, made up of the 17 remaining fit players and dual-reg personnel from Huddersfield Giants.
In accordance with his usual policy, Naylor won’t name his Giants ‘imports’ at this stage, but he used four in a hard-fought 12-6 defeat at Halifax last time out — Jared Simpson (full-back), Liam Johnson (centre), Kruise Leeming (hooker) and Tyler Dickinson (prop).
Liam Thompson damaged a foot at The Shay, but the injury responded quickly to treatment and he was able to train normally last night.
Said Naylor: “Swinton are a good side. They’ve gone better as the season has gone on. They’ve signed good players and they play a fast, free brand of rugby.
“They’ve had it tough in their last two games against Bradford and Leigh, but for teams like Oldham and Swinton those matches are largely irrelevant.
“Before that, they won a few games in a row, starting with their win against us at Heywood Road. That game was more or less over at half-time, but I can promise that we will play a lot differently this time.”
Oldham are classed as the home team so technically on-loan prop Tom Spencer, who played his first game for the club at Halifax, will be making his home debut at Bloomfield Road.
Lions boss John Duffy said that, in terms of picking up points at the lower end of the Championship, this would be the biggest game of the season so far for both clubs.
He will pick from the side that played Leigh last week, plus Macauley Hallett, Jordan Hand, Gabriel Fell and Liam Marshall.
Oldham (from): backs, Lewis Palfrey, Tom Ashton, Adam Clay, Gareth Owen, Sam Gee, Jack Holmes, Steve Roper; forwards, Danny Langtree, Phil Joy, Michael Ward, Adam Files, Will Hope, Liam Thompson, Kenny Hughes, Gary Middlehurst, Joe Burke, Tom Spencer; plus dual-reg players.
Swinton (from): Kieran Hyde, Gabriel Fell, Shaun Robinson, Stuart Littler, Macauley Hallett, Rhodri Lloyd, Mike Butt, Liam Marshall, Ben White, Chris Atkin, Ben Austin, Anthony Nicholson, Andy Bracek, Jordan Hand, Andy Thornley, Connor Dwyer, Josh Barlow, Dan Fleming, Matty Beharrell, Stephen Nash, Zach Johnson.
Tickets for unreserved seats (half price for Oldham season-ticket holders) can be bought from Whitebank up to 4pm today.