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Saturday, 30 May 2015

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Wilkes vows quick return after appendix op

SUPER League prop Oliver Wilkes is determined to be back for the start of the season after undergoing an emergency appendicitis operation last week.

RETURNING HERO: Oliver Wilkes is back with Wakefield after two years at Harlequins

The 31-year-old Ulverstonian was rushed to hospital after feeling crippling pains in his stomach and underwent surgery.

The operation was a success and Wilkes is now recovering at home – missing new club Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’s trip to France for training this week.

Wilkes, who moved back to West Yorkshire during the close-season following a two-year spell with Harlequins in London, is hopeful he will be back in training next week and ready to take on Widnes Vikings in the first Super League fixture of the season on February 3.

“The squad are back training next week, so fingers crossed,” said theex-Wigan Warriors man. “I will be bouncing ready to join the sessions, whether it be on a full-contact level, I don’t know. Hopefully I will be back involved with them.

“The start of the season is a long time away when it comes down to recovery.

“Each day is an improvement, so if it improves every day like it has been doing, there’s no reason why I can’t be fit and ready to go for the start of the season.”

Wilkes returned to the gym earlier this week with the hope of speeding up his recovery, but found the exertions too much, too soon after his surgery.

He will now stagger his recovery more sensibly, and added: “I think I rushed back in. I tried to go and do some weights, just some light weights, but that was rushing back a bit.

“It takes time and it will be a couple of weeks before I should be back in full training.

“They have given me a bit of down time while they have gone away to France.

“I missed out on the trip, but it gives me a bit of time to recuperate.

“I have lost a bit of weight, so it is just a case of getting back to eating normally, recovering and going from there.”

“I’m quite good at losing weight in the off-season anyway and if I don’t train, I lose weight, which is a bit of a negative because any time off and I struggle.“I need to keep training to keep my weight up. I have a playing weight of 107 kilos and I’ve dropped down to 102. It’s hard to put that back on, but hopefully I’ll manage it.”

Wilkes was caught by surprise by the speed with which the appendix problem manifested itself last week.

He had been with the rest of the squad in training in the afternoon, but by the next morning had undergone keyhole surgery.

“I trained last Tuesday and everything was as normal. Then Tuesday night, I fell ill,” said the former Barrow RL Academy player.

“I struggled around the house that evening and I thought it was just one of those 24-hour bugs, but it just got worse and worse.

“I was bending over and struggling to stand back up because of the pain in the stomach.

“It kept getting worse and in the end my wife made me ring the NHS emergency help line. They got me into a clinic and I was straight off to the hospital from there and my appendix was out.”

He added: “I’ll give it another few days and then carry on and get back into it.

“The doctors have said just to do what my body will let me do, the sooner, the better for me really.”

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