Huddersfield Giants boss Ian Watson has confirmed that starting half-back Oliver Russell will miss the remaining four games of the regular Super League season due to injury.
Russell, 24, has been limited to just 14 appearances in 2023, having torn his hamstring earlier in April against Leeds Rhinos during Rivals Round.
The Oldham-born playmaker continued through the pain barrier to help the Giants to a crucial 21-12 win over Leeds at the John Smith’s Stadium last Sunday.
However, Russel will now miss remaining fixtures against Leigh, Hull KR, Hull FC and Warrington, with Will Pryce expected to step up after marking his return from the interchange bench against the Rhinos.
The Round 23 victory levelled the points with Leeds on the Super League table with 20, with both sides pushing for a play-off spot alongside Hull KR. Salford and Warrington currently hold positions sixth and fifth respectively.
Oliver Russell injury confirmed
“He’s got a broken bone in his second metacarpal,” Watson told media on Thursday. “Unfortunately, that looks like his season is going to be over for us which is unfortunate for him and for us again.
“It’s a clean break. It is what it is at this moment in time. We’d had a few kind of issues through this year with the spine, so it’s another one for us to contend with again.
“It’s upsetting. Rusty is a good kid and a big part of our future.”
Meanwhile, Watson confirmed that veteran winger Jermaine McGillvary could yet return to the action and receive a proper farewell, with 2023 expected to be his last with his hometown club.
Utility forward Harvey Livett has also been named in the 21-man squad to travel to the Leigh Sports Village on Friday, although at least three of those named aren’t fully fit and will not be selected.
Watson continued: “Jermaine had his first day on the field with us today. We’ll see where he gets to next week. Definitely in the next week or two, he should be fully fit.
“We’ve also got Harvey Livett back again today.
“We’ve named a squad but there’s three guys that can’t play. We’ve been dealing with that for quite a number of weeks but it’s better to crack on and focus on what we’ve got.”