Verdict soon on Joy


PHIL Joy, who dislocated a shoulder in Oldham’s 20-18 home defeat by London Broncos in mid-February, was in Yorkshire today for a procedure that will determine whether he needs an operation.

He was to have an arthrogram (MRI scan) in which dye is injected into the joint first in order to produce better scan results.

As a follow-up, he will see his consultant in Wilmslow tomorrow.

“We will then know whether Phil needs surgery or whether he is able to carry on,” said club chairman Chris Hamilton.

Oldham’s biggest front-row forward, Joy has missed eight games so far, leaving the pack without it’s anchor man’s physical presence.

Another prop, Joe Burke, will face no further disciplinary action after being sin-binned at Toulouse Olympique for a shoulder charge that was also late.

The RFL’s match review panel ruled the yellow card was enough punishment after concluding that contact was ‘passive’ and level of force ‘minimal’.

The Welshman, who scored a try in France and another at Halifax on Monday, will be available for Sunday’s fifth-round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie at Featherstone (3pm), as will on-loan Kieran Gill, who played in the fourth-round defeat of amateurs Haydock with the approval of his full-time employers, Castleford Tigers.

He is, therefore, already cup-tied for Cas which means he will again be free to play for Roughyeds in round five.

Rovers, who beat Bradford Bulls in round four, hammered them again, 44-18, on Monday, after racing into a 38-0 interval lead.

Stand-off Anthony Thackeray (31), their talisman and chief play-maker, will miss the Oldham game after picking up a two-match ban for grade ‘C’ tripping against London Broncos.

Rovers are using the tie to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first Challenge Cup final win against Barrow at Wembley in 1967.

Oldham, who were unlucky not to come away from Featherstone with at least a point when beaten 8-6 there in February, will be potential party-poopers.

Early-bird tickets for the tie, priced £12 adults, £8 concessions and £5 juniors (saving £6 adults, £4 concessions) are on cash-only sale up to 5pm tonight at Oldham Athletic’s ticket office at Park.

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