Daryl Powell provides positive update on Joe Philbin as forward closes in on return

Josh McAllister
Joe Philbin Warrington Wolves

Warrington head coach Daryl Powell has provided a positive update on Joe Philbin and his road to recovery, insisting the forward is only a few weeks away from returning. 

Philbin, 28, suffered a season-ending ACL injury last June in the 4-0 win over Hull at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

He was limited to 17 appearances in 2022.

Warrington posted a video of the England international’s progress last December as he stepped up his recovery.

And now Powell is confident that his forward, who will wear shirt number 15 this season, isn’t far away from returning to action.

Powell provides Joe Philbin latest

“He’s been working exceptionally hard,” Powell told Love Rugby League.

“He’s such a committed professional rugby league player. I spoke to him after he did his ACL and he was so positive and determined to get back as soon as he could.

“He’s two or three weeks away from coming back now. 

“He’s going through a pretty rigorous return to play protocol at the moment where he’s getting put under extreme pressure and he’s handling it really well. 

“He is going to be a great addition back into the team. The players are excited to see where he’s at at the moment and he’s excited to get back out there and show us all what he’s about.

“Our medical team has done a first grade job on him and his rehab. And then our conditioner who is in charge of putting him under the physical scrutiny that he needs to get himself ready to play. He’ll be 100% ready to go when he comes back. 

“Physically, he’s in great shape. Mentally, with this injury you have to work hard to come through the stages of recovery that make you feel comfortable getting back on a rugby leaguer field and he’s right in the middle of that.

“I watched him do some contact work today where he’s taking a lot of tackles in and around his legs which is obviously a big part of rugby league and he’s handled that really well.”

Dudson and Nicholson update

Meanwhile, Powell confirmed that forward duo Gil Dudson and Matty Nicholson are on track with their respective recoveries.

Dudson, 32, suffered a broken hand in their pre-season friendly with Leigh in Ben Currie’s testimonial match. 

19-year-old Nicholson dislocated his shoulder during the opening round win over Leeds at home.

“He’s still got it (a cast) on,” Powell said on Dudson. “That needs to come off and it needs to get checked out by the specialist and then we’ll see.

“Two or three weeks is where he’s aiming for at the moment. That will be good to see him in and around the team again.

“And Matty Nicholson is not too far away. He’s a week or two away.” 

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