Nine months after rupturing an Achilles tendon, Oldham winger Lucas Onyango is in line to make his long-awaited comeback.
The Kenyan winger is included in a 22-man Oldham squad for Sunday’s Law Cup derby against Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank, which starts at 4pm.
He slightly damaged an ankle in training last week, but coach Tony Benson hopes he will be cleared to play when he is assessed tomorrow.
“Lucas has worked desperately hard to get over his Achilles injury,” said Benson. “It has been difficult trying to hold him back and then when he was all ready to go he rolled an ankle in training.
“We need to look at him on Saturday, but I think he’ll get the nod.”
Club officials are confident the Whitebank pitch will get the go-ahead at the third attempt.
It’s been a long off season, but frustrated Roughyeds players can now look forward to four warm-up games — two at home and two away — over the next four weekends.
“It’s their chance to put in a claim for the jerseys,” said Benson.
“The boys who perform the best will keep their shirts, and everyone is fully aware of that.”
Benson has confirmed that versatile youngsters Tom Rigby and Reid, the 21-year-olds from Widnes, will be used as a full-back and a half-back respectively, but other than that he has named his squad in alphabetical order.
Bentley, Boults, Clarke, Clough, Cookson, Dallimore, Ellison, Fogarty, Greenwood, Heaton, Johnson, McCully, Onyango, Reid, N Rigby, T Rigby, Robinson, N Roden, Stenchion, Thompson, Ward, Whitmore.
Hornets are expected to field two former Rougheds favourites in full-back Paul O’Connor and second-row man Chris Baines.
Admission prices are £12 adults, £10 pensioners and £4 for under-16s.