FEATHERSTONE Rovers prop Mick Haley has sustained a broken foot for the second time in five months.
The 25-year-old former Leeds Rhinos and Sheffield Eagles forward missed the final two months of last season after he was injured in the Northern Rail Cup final against Halifax at the end of July.
Haley, who recently signed a new one-year contract at Rovers, is now sidelined again after an accident at home.
“Mick Haley has broken his foot and he will be in pot for six weeks. It is not the same foot he broke in the Northern Rail Cup final,” said Rovers coach Daryl Powell.
“He was at home when he broke it. He missed a step and went over on his foot. When he went to hospital, he realised he’d broken it so obviously it is pretty disappointing for him.
“Hopefully, he can keep himself fit while the foot is in pot. Our physio and conditioner will be working hard with him from that point of view and then he can get back into it in six weeks’ time.
“Mick has been pretty unlucky with injuries so hopefully this will be the last one and then he can have a bit of good luck.”
New signing Matt James will miss Featherstone’s opening pre-season match against Hunslet Hawks at Big Fellas Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Prop James, signed on a two-year contract from Wakefield Wildcats, has undergone minor knee surgery.
“Matt James has had a clear out on his knee so he’s a couple of weeks away from getting back into training,” said Powell.
Tim Spears, Sam Smeaton and Liam Finn are all on the road to recovery after surgery.
“Tim Spears has had an operation on his shoulder and he’s working through his rehab programme at the moment,” added Powell.
“He’ll have a fair bit of strength to build back up on it once he can get in the gym but he works pretty hard and hopefully it will not be too far away from the start of the season when he is available.
“Sam Smeaton had a pretty nasty knee injury when he ruptured his patellar tendon shortly before the Grand Final. He’s in rehab and working to get himself where he needs to be as early as he can. It’s a tough injury to come back from.
“Liam Finn had an operation on his elbow but he’s now pretty much back into full-time training.”
Former Dewsbury Rams centre or second-rower Andy Bostock has signed a new one-year deal at Featherstone.
Powell will be having talks with Nathan Chappell who is out of contract.
“I’ll be having a chat with Nathan this week and see what happens,” said the Rovers boss, who is pleased with the way his squad is shaping up in pre-season training.
“We are just over four weeks into training and it is going well. The new players have fitted in pretty smartly,” he continued.
“Strength in depth is going to be crucial next season. Last season I thought we faded a bit towards the back end and obviously looked a little tired in the Grand Final.
“Next season it’s going to be important we manage players in the right way with the amount of games we’ve got in front of us. You are always mindful of how you are going to manage your players, although sometimes it gets rattled a bit with injuries and form as well.
“I think it’s the best squad we’ve had since I’ve been at the club so we should be able to do that. Time will tell once we get into the season. It always throws a few things at you.”
Powell believes Featherstone’s excellent team spirit will again be a big asset next season.
“We have been pretty tight as a group. That is the culture we have worked hard on over the last four years and it’s still rock solid and we’ll continue to work on that,” he said.
“It is a huge part of team sport that you have a good unity and you have a good spirit and enjoy your training together and you enjoy your social time together as well.
“We feel like we’ve got a good mix again and that will really help us when we get into the tough situations throughout the season.”
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