Oldham new boy Liam Thompson is recovering from successful surgery to repair a damaged shoulder.
The 20-year-old former Widnes Vikings back-row forward is expected to be fully fit for the start of the Northern Rail Cup campaign in early March, providing his rehabilitation programme goes according to plan.
Roughyeds signed him in October on a one-year deal, knowing that he would require an operation to repair a torn shoulder muscle.
“That wasn’t an issue,” said Naylor, “because I know a thing or two about this type of injury, having had nine shoulder operations myself.
“I know what he has been going through and what he needs to do now to get his career back on track.
“He’s a young lad with the whole of his career ahead of him and I have no doubt at all that he will make a full recovery and contribute significantly to anything we achieve in 2013.
“It’s our responsibility to get him right.
“I spoke to him 48 hours after the operation. The shoulder has been repaired. He now faces a long job and a lot of hard work to get himself ready to play again.
“One thing is for sure, we won’t be rushing him. Time’s on his side.
“With this sort of injury it is difficult to put a time scale on a full recovery, but I hope he will be ready in time for the start of the season.”
For the next ten to 14 days his arm will be in a sling, and for the first two or three weeks after that he will work hard at his Wigan home on rehab under the guidance of physiotherapist Katie McDonnell, who will be assisting Roughyeds in the coming season.
As soon as he is able to take his rehab to the next level he will join up with the squad again.
Naylor, meanwhile, has confirmed the club’s intention to add to a playing roster that numbers 21 — nine backs and 12 forwards.
The forwards include the club’s solitary loan signing so far in 19-year-old hooker Adam Files, who is here from Salford City Reds on a season-long agreement.
Naylor said he and the club were “looking hard” for more new players and hoped to have some by the turn of the year.