TONY Smith has given an update on Warrington Wolves’ injury problems ahead of Sunday’s Challenge Cup fifth round tie with Doncaster.
Ben Harrison will miss the cup tie despite X-rays not showing a break to his scaphoid, while Chris Bridge, groin strain, Ben Westwood, calf strain, and Richie Myler, shoulder, are yet to return.
Paul Wood required surgery to his bicep on Tuesday, but Simon Grix, dislocated shoulder, will not need what Smith previously feared would be a season-ending operation.
“It’s enormous for us and for Simon himself,” said Smith. “The fact we’ve got so many of our more experienced players, and arguably starting players, out at one time does put pressure on people to perform.
“Of course when you’ve got experienced and good performers out of your team you miss them, but that’s part and parcel of our sport.
“However, it’s good experience for those who come in and an opportunity to step up. We’ll welcome those senior players back, but at the same time it’s not feeling sorry for ourselves – you get on with it.”
Smith added about Harrison’s wrist injury: “X-rays haven’t shown any break of the scaphoid, so we’re hopeful.
“They can take a while to show up but hopefully there is no break; we’re going to be without him for a little time regardless, he’s got a fair amount of swelling but hopefully it’s not as bad as first was feared.
“He (Chris Bridge) is not a long termer and he’s another experienced player we’re without, but hopefully we’ll have him back in a week or two.
“Myler could be a couple of weeks yet, he is settling down, his shoulder, but it’s one of those things that we don’t want to throw him back out there too quickly.
“He is rehabilitating well and it is calming down his shoulder but certainly not to playing stage yet.
“Woody had to have his operation on his bicep, sometimes you can opt not to have an operation and you can get by with it, but he certainly needed it.
“He had surgery and is probably best case scenario about eight weeks, so we’re without Woody. Westwood’s progressing with his calf strain but he’s going to be a few weeks yet.”
With Wolves’ squad down to 19 fit first-teamers they have recalled Danny Bridge from his loan at Bradford Bulls.
“Danny will resume training with us this week and he very well could feature in the near future,” he explained. “Whether Danny’s needed for this week I’ll be doubtful.
“It’s purely for numbers, we’re getting light particularly in our back rowers, we’ve got a few back rowers and forwards with injuries.
“I’ve brought him back because we certainly need a bit more depth and it’s crazy if you’ve got players bolstering other teams and you’re in need for your own requirements.”
However, Chris Riley will remain on-loan at Wakefield: “We’ve got a number of outside backs and wingers available,” said Smith.
“We’ve still got Gene Ormsby who’s able to push back into our team, so at the moment I still can’t guarantee Chris a start; he’s better off getting experience.”