Fingers crossed for Spencer

JACK Spencer, out for three weeks with a rib injury, could be back to strengthen Oldham’s forwards at Dewsbury on Sunday.

He trained as usual on Tuesday and if he passes specific fitness checks at training tonight and has suffered no adverse reaction by Saturday he will be back in the selection mix.

“Things are looking good for him, but we’ll know more after tonight,” said coach Scott Naylor.

Spencer was injured when tackled heavily in the first few minutes of the game against Toulouse in France and he has since missed the narrow win against Swinton Lions, the two-point defeat at Halifax and the heavier loss at Featherstone.

His good news is the second positive of the week for Naylor, who was relieved when Richard Lepori was cleared by an independent disciplinary panel of any wrong-doing when he and the referee bumped into each other during the Swinton game.

There was an injury scare for Lepori at Featherstone when he bravely went down on a loose ball at the feet of on-rushing Rovers players.

He took a painful blow to the nose, but after treatment and a change of shirt, which was covered in blood, he carried on as normal and finished the game.

Naylor has since confirmed that ‘Lippy’ has fully recovered and that the only new concern ahead of the trip to the Tetley’s Stadium is for George Tyson, who has been complaining of a hamstring strain.

“Apart from long-term injuries, like Phil Joy, everyone else is okay,” added Naylor.

Tyson was one of the side’s better players at Featherstone, but if he doesn’t make it, Naylor will have a ready-made replacement in Kieran Gill, who was rested last Sunday.

Tuoyo Egodo will also be back in contention as Roughyeds go in search of a vital two points against a Rams side that has pulled itself together sine the arrival of new coach Neil Kelly just before Easter.

Two wins against Batley will have seen confidence soar in the Rams camp. They are targeting this as the first of two must-win games against Oldham. who will enjoy a weekend off while Dewsbury play Wakefield Trinity next month in the sixth round of the cup.

Said Naylor: “A Sunday off in mid-season is extremely beneficial. We didn’t get one last year after winning at Hull KR and then drawing Warrington Wolves in the sixth round of the cup.

“About the same time we faced Leigh Centurions and then we had to play Bradford Bulls in midweek. It was an unbelievably tough few weeks.

“It was disappointing to go out of the cup at Featherstone last week, but if there was a positive to come out of it we won’t have it as tough and demanding over the next few weeks as we did this time last year.”

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