YORK City Knights are bracing themselves for bad news on the injury front – including a possible new setback for James Haynes.
Regular hooker Jack Lee is set to sit out this Sunday’s final friendly of pre-season against Hull because of a shoulder problem, while Haynes, who had been poised to make his long-awaited return after being sidelined for all of 2012, might also remain a spectator for now.
And new second-row Sam Orange has seen a knee clear-out operation put back to next week so his return is delayed.
The Knights have already lost prop Luke Stenchion for two to three weeks because of an ankle injury suffered in the friendly against North Wales Crusaders, while fellow packman Joe Hemmings is also currently sidelined with an impact knee injury.
Assistant-boss Mick Ramsden admitted Lee’s situation was “concerning”.
“We’re still not entirely certain what it is but he’s not likely to play this week,” he said.• From Back Page The Press reported last week how Haynes “felt like a kid again” as he prepared for his return to action following the operation on his troublesome back.
If he does not play this weekend, though, it would mean a proposed comeback had been postponed twice, and the 23-year-old endured a similar stop-start-stop period early last year before the root of the injury nightmare – prolaspsed discs – was finally diagnosed. A similar ongoing problem recently ended the career of Hull’s Mike Burnett.
Ramsden, however, eased fears of a repeat. “We don’t believe that will be the case,” he said.
“We’re a little bit touch-and-go with him. He was a bit sore (after training). If we can get him to play, we will but we just don’t want to rush him. We don’t want him to have ill-effects.
“He’s dying to play but sometimes you can come back too early and do damage. We want him to be able to play lengthy spells, all season, and have no repercussions.”
In better news, stalwart prop Adam Sullivan is hoping to be back in action within the next month. The injection he needs to sort out a long-standing knee problem has been penned in for next week, with doctors saying it could take as little as two weeks to heal.
Fellow front-rower Matty Nicholson is also set to make his Knights bow this weekend having missed the two previous friendlies with a shoulder problem.
York begain their Championship season at Whitehaven the following weekend.
Meanwhile, the Knights are confident Sunday’s game will go ahead despite the recent bad weather – especially if they get enough volunteers down to Huntington Stadium to make the pitch playable.
A thaw is forecast over the weekend but the club are asking fans to turn up with shovels tomorrow, from 11am, and Saturday to clear surface snow. They hope to clear enough tomorrow to allow the players to train on the pitch that evening. They would then clear the remainder – or new snow should it fall overnight – the following day, lessening the chance of thaw-induced waterlogging come Sunday afternoon. Tea and coffee will be provided.
Anyone who could help can phone Ian Wilson at the Knights on 01904 767404 for details.