Widdop on the road to recovery

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has talked up the chances of England stand-off Gareth Widdop returning from injury in time for the World Cup.

Widdop, 24, dislocated his hip in the Storm’s NRL Round 15 defeat by Gold Coast two months ago, and initial fears were that both his domestic season and World Cup hopes were over.

However, the Halifax-born playmaker, who will join St George Illawarra next season, returned to the training field at Melbourne today and according to Bellamy he is eyeing a return in October.

Bellamy said, “He’s been back doing a little bit on the exercise bike and he’s been doing a bit of straight line running.

“He’s going to do some skills today and we’ll see how he goes.

“The World Cup is still a fair way away, so I’m not sure that’s what St George want to hear but I think Gareth is leaning towards playing in the World Cup and obviously the Poms would be very glad to have him.”

The news will delight England coach Steve McNamara, who was on the Gold Coast to watch Widdop suffer the injury in June.

Bellamy said Widdop, who will not have played for four months, would not take any undue risks.

“I’m sure he won’t do anything silly but I’m sure he’d be a really good inclusion for England if he can get back to full health.”

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