Widnes Vikings new boy Danny Langtree now faces a race to be ready for the start of the new season having undergone surgery on a shoulder injury, though the club say they ‘expect him to be fully fit’ in time.
Langtree became Widnes’ seventh recruit of the off-season when he put pen to paper on his deal at the DCBL Stadium last month, joining from fellow Championship outfit Barrow Raiders.
Barrow granted the back-rower an early release from his contract to enable him to link up with the Vikings, unable to commit to making the commute up to Cumbria in 2024 due to work commitments.
The 32-year-old actually picked up his shoulder injury playing for Barrow back in July against Bradford Bulls, and he has been sidelined ever since.
New Widnes Vikings recruit Danny Langtree in race to be fit for start of season after undergoing surgery; Could miss up to six games
Widnes confirmed via their club website that Langtree’s surgery had gone well, taking place in the player’s hometown of St Helens.
Their first Championship game comes on home soil against the forward’s former employers Barrow on March 17, and Head of Operations Chris Hamilton firmly believes Langtree – who has made 235 career appearances to date – will be fit and firing by then.
Chief Hamilton said: “Danny is going to be a key player for us, so to get this surgery done now will help both us and him.
“We expect he will be fully fit before the start of the league season and that will provide a real boost as we head into what we are hoping will be an exciting 2024.
“The injury is not a major one, but naturally, post-surgery, we will need to make sure his rehab is done properly, and that he isn’t rushed back before he is fully fit.”
Notably, before the Vikings are in league action, they face both Swinton Lions and North Wales Crusaders in the group stages of the 1895 Cup.
That competition’s quarter-finals also take place before the Championship kicks off along with Rounds 3, 4 & 5 of the Challenge Cup.
Accordingly, it looks like Langtree could miss up to six games if the start of the league season is his target, as referenced by Hamilton.