Huddersfield Giants: Oliver Russell injury update provided by head coach Ian Watson

Josh McAllister
Oliver Russell in action against Wigan at the DW Stadium.

Oliver Russell in action against Wigan at the DW Stadium. Picture by Ed Sykes/

Huddersfield Giants boss Ian Watson is hoping for positive news on Oliver Russell after the half-back was forced from the field against Wigan in the 22-6 defeat at the DW Stadium. 

Russell, 24, limped from the action late on in the loss against the Warriors, with Jake Bibby scoring the side’s only try of the night in the 75th minute.

The Oldham-born playmaker has been limited to just six Super League appearances in 2023 due to injuries, having returned from a lengthy layoff earlier in June against Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

“It didn’t look nice on the sideline when they hit him late there, I know it’s been put on report,” Watson said on Russell.

“He’s got an ice pack on and fingers crossed he’s OK.

“He’s only just come back as well. He’s got a good career ahead of him, he just needs to keep developing. All this he’ll learn from.”

Ian Watson on importance of spine 

The Giants remain 10th on the Super League table following the latest defeat, although showed glimpses of improvement after last week’s 54-0 hammering to Leeds at Headingley Stadium.

It’s been a turbulent season for the side, with Watson rarely getting to play a regular spine with the choices of Russell, Jake Connor, Will Pryce and Theo Fages, with the latter currently sidelined through a fresh injury.

“I’ve said it all the way through my career, if you’ve got a settled spine, then you’ve got a chance,” Watson said.

“You look through all the league and you look at the teams who have got a settled spine, and when they do they’ll be sat near the top-end of the table.

“We did immensely well last year as we had some issue with our spine with Theo as well with him kind of not playing the amount of games we needed him to.

“When we’ve got him out there and he was playing and playing regularly, he got us to a Challenge Cup final. Unfortunately he ended up missing that big game as well for us.

“It shows you how important that spine is. It’s not to make up excuses or anything like that, but your spine is one of the biggest things in the game.”

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