Huddersfield boss Ian Watson provides injury latest including Fages and McGillvary

Josh McAllister
Theo Fages, Ian Watson, SWPix.

Huddersfield head coach Ian Watson has provided the latest injury update for his squad, including Theo Fages, Joe Greenwood and Jermaine McGillvary.

Fages, 28, was forced from the field during Huddersfield’s 36-6 victory over Castleford at the John Smith’s Stadium in Round Four.

The club are currently awaiting results, with Watson expecting a long-term blow to one of his star players. 

“We’re still waiting for the specialist report,” Watson said. 

“He had a scan yesterday. We’re suspecting a high-grade soleus – a calf injury – but when the specialist comes back to us, we’ll get a full report on that one.

“If it’s going to be a high grade, it could be anywhere probably around 12 weeks, maybe. 

“He didn’t look good in the last couple of days in training, the way he was walking around.

“He was in and out of his boot, but when he’s out, he’s limping. He’s just said, it’s not good at the moment.

“He was in a bad place with it Monday, and on Tuesday he was a little bit better getting his head around that he’s got the injury and now it’s just is what it is.

“We’re covered and hopefully he can work to get back later in the year.”

More on Greenwood & McGillvary

Having also left the field during the same clash, forward Greenwood is also set for an extended period of time on the sidelines. 

“Joe Greenwood has been told it’s a grade two MCL,” Watson added. 

“That’s normally four-to-six weeks. A specialist is going to look at that as well just at the way he’s presenting. So we’ll see if that’s either shorter or longer.”

Watson also confirmed that McGillvary is nearing his return, having originally been sidelined with a hamstring issue.

He has since suffered a knock to his shoulder, but is only a few weeks off.

On McGillvary, Watson continued: “Jez hasn’t played for a couple of weeks with a niggle on his shoulder. He’s just been to see the specialist and had scans, nothing to worry about.

“He needed a steroid in his shoulder and will be available to play either next week or the week after.”

Ian Watson provides Jake Connor latest

Jake Connor is also chomping at the bit to return to action, with Watson admitting that the 28-year-old full-back asked to be named on the bench for Friday’s home fixture against Wigan.

“Jake wanted to be named and wanted to be on the bench when he saw Theo was going to be out. But we just felt it was important that he is fully right,” Watson added.

“Fingers crossed, he’ll feature in the next two weeks. He was adamant he wanted to be on the bench this week and even asked me, but I told him no, we can’t.

“We need to get some fitness work into him and the medical team didn’t want to push him out there too early and neither did we, especially with Theo out, it becomes even more important.”

Matty English has also picked up a slight knock, confirmed Watson, and has not been named in the 21-man squad to face Wigan. Meanwhile, centre Kevin Naiqama returns to the 21-man squad.

Ian Watson putting belief in Russell to step up

Oliver Russell made his first appearance of the season in the victory over Castleford last week. The 24-year-old half-back had suffered a slight knock in the pre-season fixture with Dewsbury, but returned to action in the reserves, defeating Wakefield.

And now Watson expects the talented playmaker to step up in the absence of Fages in the coming weeks of the season.

“The good thing is, the amount of games Oliver Russell has had over the last few years puts him in a really good position,” Watson said.

“It means we’re in a better position than what we possibly would have been, maybe even last year when we lost Theo to be fair.

“The experience Oliver Russell has got now, he needs to step up and be Theo now basically, which he’s more than capable of doing.

“This is where his education has been leading to. There might be a few things that he misses that Theo might not have done, but he’ll learn them pretty quickly by playing.”

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