Broken rib sidelines Knights ace James Haynes

James Haynes

James Haynes

First published in Sport
Last updated

JAMES HAYNES has paid for his heroics at Hunslet - potentially being sidelined for the all-important play-offs.

It has been confirmed that the full-back broke a rib early on in York City Knights' last match, meaning he could be ruled out for another month, taking him up to the Championship One Grand Final on October 5.

Haynes played on at South Leeds Stadium, despite the blow, and ended up kicking the late match-winning goal to seal York's 20-18 comeback victory that virtually assured them of top spot in the table.

The 25-year-old joked afterwards that he wanted to “cry for his mum” as he played through the pain barrier, and he hoped it would be a case of “painkillers and play on". However, X-rays have shown that won't be possible.

He will definitely miss the Knights' last match of the regular season, at home to London Skolars a week on Sunday. The following game will almost certainly be the qualifying semi-final on September 21.

Boss Gary Thornton said: "He's targeting a quick return. They say four to six weeks and he's done almost two since the Hunslet game. He's targeting a semi-final return but we'll see. Recovery in four weeks might be optimistic. Whether it's achievable remains to be seen.

"There's nothing you can do about a broken a rib, you just have to let them heal themselves. It's just painkillers and a bit of rehab."

Haynes has been a standout player in recent weeks as the Knights set a club record nine straight victories.

As for his replacement, Thornton has a few options.

Top-scorer Ben Dent could shift inside from the wing, with brother Adam or George Elliott coming into the threequarters, albeit after little first-team game-time in recent months.

More likely, Ben Reynolds, back in the fold after missing the Hunslet match due to his call-up by parent club Castleford, will revert to full-back, with Jonny Presley continuing at half-back alongside Pat Smith. Benn Hardcastle has also now been recalled from his loan at Gateshead and he too could go in at half-back.

Thornton added: "We've got options."

Meanwhile, Iain Morrison's future involvement remains in doubt.

The big-hitting veteran prop, beset by illness and injury since joining the club, which has limited his number of appearances to just five, will be training ahead of the Skolars match but whether he will be fit enough to feature remains to be seen.

Fellow front-rower Austin Bell, who has missed eight games, is over his ankle injury but he too faces a battle to get back into the side given the form of Jack Aldous, Brad Brennan, Colton Roche and new signing Josh Tonks.

Nathan Freer is not expected back this term after further setbacks, and needs to see a specialist having continued to suffer nausea after training.

Thornton said of Morrison: "We're playing it by ear. Ideally i'd like him to play against London Skolars before he features in the play-offs but we'll have to wait and see.

"Austin is back and he comes into contention for Skolars. He's a bit rusty at the minute as he's missed quite a few games and a bit of training.

"He needs to get back up to speed quickly. He was playing well before he got injured and he needs to get back to where he was. It's difficult with no reserve matches to play in but his first step is to stand out in group training and show he's ready to play."

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