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Friday, 03 July 2015

Barrow Raiders boss Holt upbeat on injured players

RAIDERS boss Darren Holt is confident some of his injured legions will be ready for action come the start of the season.

CONCERNS Darren Holt

With only a week to go before the opening fixture of the Championship campaign at Hunslet, Holt has five players already sidelined.

Both Jamie Butler (wrist) and Ruairi McGoff (knee) underwent surgery during the close-season, while new signing Jack Spencer had an operation to place pins in his ankle before he even joined the club.

Added to that trio, re-signed hooker Nathan Mossop damaged his knee in the first week of pre-season training and his fellow Millomite Andrew Dawson suffered a nasty cut to the same joint in the opening friendly of the year against Keighley.

Dawson is the only one of the five to have tasted any action at all in the build-up to the 2013 season, but Holt is hopeful they are not far away from being back to fitness, though not necessarily a place in the side.

“One or two who have been injured should be there or thereabouts for the start of the season,” said the Barrow coach, who last season suffered a string of injury problems – both with the team and personally.

“But any lads who have been injured for the majority of pre-season will have a lot of catching up to do – the chances that they will be game-fit and ready to play for the start of the season are slim.

“The lads who have missed a bit of training are very clear that they have got some work to do to catch up. It’s up to them to put the effort in and show how soon they are going to get to that level before they are available for selection.”

All of Barrow’s current injury victims play in the pack, which has led to some reshuffling among the forwards already in pre-season.

Butler, McGoff, Dawson and Spencer are props, while Mossop is one of four hookers on the Craven Park books.

Holt has been monitoring all of them closely, with Dawson the closest to a return, while Spencer and those who have undergone surgery may require more time.

“Andy Dawson picked up an injury in one of the games, but I think he will be fine with that bad cut across his knee,” added Holt. “It has healed now and we’ve just got to get him back into it gently.

“We’re closely monitoring Nathan Mossop to see how his knee is going. It’s just a confidence thing with him now, getting him back out on the park and seeing how it goes. We’ll see then if there is going to be any recurrence and if it is gone or is going to be an ongoing injury.

“Nathan has been out a couple of times already on light duties, so to speak, now we’ve just got to get him back out there and see how that knee really is.

“It’s a confidence thing – once you have done a knee like that, it really is a confidence issue. What he needs to do is build his confidence up on that knee, so he will be happy to get back into it 100 per cent.

“I think the likes of Jamie Butler and Ruairi McGoff will be the two who will need the fitness work, the contact work when they are available to jump back in, before they can be considered.

“Broadly speaking, most of the forwards who have missed a bit are going to take some time and it is up to them how soon they are going to be back – and the physiotherapy team of course with the rehab work they do.

“The back line, I don’t think we’ve got any problems with.”

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