RICHARD Lepori is Oldham’s biggest injury concern ahead of the crucial KP Championship Shield games, which start on Sunday week, August 7.
The full-back, an Italian international, picked up a nasty hand injury which forced his withdrawal just before half-time in the 32-30 defeat by Workington Town at Bower Fold.
He has a deep gash between two fingers and down to the knuckle.
It remains to be seen whether he will be fit for August 7, but it obviously helps that there is a free weekend between the end of the 23-game regular Championship season and the start of the Shield, which requires the bottom eight teams after 23 games to play each other once more, making 30 games in total.
The bottom two after 30 games are relegated to League One.
Oldham are third off the bottom with 14 points — three more than West Cumbrian neighbours Workington Town and Whitehaven, from whom Scott Naylor’s men have taken only two points from the available eight in the regular season.
Two of Workington’s five wins were against Roughyeds, while Whitehaven won at the Recreation Ground and lost in a tight game at Bower Fold.
Forthcoming clashes between Naylor’s men and the two Cumbrian clubs, details to be announced by the RFL tomorrow, will clearly have a massive bearing on who stays up — and who goes down.
The signing deadline having passed, Oldham will go into battle in the Shield, the priority being to avoid relegation, with 19 contracted players, plus five more on loan.
Backs: Kieran Gill (loan), Adam Clay, Sam Gee, Richard Lepori, Lewis Palfrey, David Hewitt (loan), Danny Grimshaw, Jamel Chisholm, Scott Turner, James Mendeika (loan).
Forwards: Jack Spencer, Joe Burke, Adam Files, Craig Briscoe, Kenny Hughes, Phil Joy, Danny Langtree, Liam Thompson, Will Hope, Michael Ward, Gareth Owen, Jack Blagbrough (loan), Lewis Foster (loan), Gary Middlehurst.
Also available to Naylor, depending on Huddersfield’s requirements, will be dual-reg youngsters Tyler Dickinson and Liam Johnson.