LEWIS Charnock, Oldham RL Club’s first-choice stand-off, didn’t figure at Featherstone because he’s been playing through the pain barrier for several weeks.
The former St Helens, Bradford Bulls and Barrow Raiders half-back is normally one of the first to go on the team sheet, but he has taken a few painful knocks in the past few weeks and it was felt he would benefit from a break.
Whether he plays at York City Knights on Sunday (3pm kick-off) is questionable, but the club’s coaching and medical staff want to give him every chance to make a full and complete recovery before subjecting him to more pain.
He was originally hurt against Swinton Lions on the opening day of the Betfred Championship season on April 2. Roughyeds won 28-20 to get their league campaign off to a flying start, but it wasn’t a good day for Charnock, who took a heavy tackle in the first few minutes and took no further part.
He copped a “stinger,” which affected his neck and arm, and he hasn’t been 100 per cent since.
A 15-day break between the Swinton game and the next match at Batley Bulldogs helped, but at various times in games against Batley, London Broncos, Halifax and Whitehaven, fans have seen Charnock coming out of a tackle holding an arm.
“He’s a brave lad who will always put up his hand to play if he thinks he’s helping the club, but we need to get him properly right. He’s still having trouble with his neck, arising from that ‘stinger’ six or seven weeks ago,”
said club chairman Chris Hamilton.
He also confirmed that Liam Kirk is still completing mandatory protocols after concussion; that Danny Bridge is still under treatment for knee trouble; that Ben Heaton suffered a quad injury in the pre-match warm-up at the Millenium Stadium; and that Jack Spencer and David Hewitt picked up knocks during the heavy defeat.
The next big test is Sunday’s game at York City Knights (3pm kick-off).
It will be played at the new LNER Community Stadium in the Huntington district of York and it will be a pilot game for the City Knights in that it will be the first game there where fans have been allowed in.
Owned by the City of York Council and shared by York City FC and the City Knights, the stadium has a capacity of 8,500.
For purposes of Sunday’s game, 1,000 home fans will be allowed in, but no away fans.