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Warrington Wolves could welcome injured players back for visit of Hull FC
BEN Westwood will be hopeful of a swift recovery from a hernia operation as he bids to return from injury in time to face Hull FC at the Halliwell Jones Stadium next week.
The 31-year-old second rower pulled out of the England squad preparing to take on the Exiles in the International Origin match at Langtree Park on Saturday, despite taking part in Wolves’ 37-18 defeat of Leeds Rhinos last week.
Wolves boss Tony Smith believes his absence from English rugby league’s newest spectacle was necessary to ensure his participation in matches for both his club and country further down the line.
“Westwood went for a hernia operation on Wednesday and he would usually be out for two weeks, but we will assess him,” said Smith.
“Healing periods change for different players, but hopefully he will have a speedy recovery and will repair well.
“It is a bit of a blow for Benny, because no doubt he would have been part of the game this weekend, but it is important for him to get this fixed for later in the season not only for his club but for his country as well.”
Smith is toying with the prospect of welcoming many of his injured players back in time for the visit of Super League’s sixth-placed side on Sunday, June 24, after both Michael Monaghan and David Solomona made a return to competitive action in Wolves’ defence of their RL 9s title at Salford City Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Smith is wary of pushing the pair back from injury too quickly having spent so long on the sidelines –Monaghan has not played since the loss to St Helens in March, while Solomona is yet to make his Super League bow this season after suffering a horrific leg-break during the club’s pre-season tour of Australia- but after an successful run-out alongside Wolves’ youngsters in the nine-man format, there is definite cause for optimism.
“They both came through fine,” said Smith.
“There were no injuries and everything went fine during their first run-out.
“It is not ideal preparation playing in a 9s format compared to the rigours of a normal match and I would have much preferred them to go through that, but it served a purpose.
“We will now possibly look to have them ready for the Hull match.
“We will assess how they recover from the exertion and see whether they are ready for the rigours of Super League a little bit closer to the time.”
Richie Myler is the other player hoping to return in time for the visit of the black and whites, having spent longer than expected on the sidelines following a abductor and hernia operation in May, though Smith suggested that even that game may come too soon for the 22-year-old.
“We have to consider whether we want to throw him right back into a high-pressure game or whether he will get a run-out in the 9s next week,” said Smith.
“It wasn’t only an abductor problem, it was a hernia as well and his recovery has taken longer as a result.”