Wildcats head coach Richard Agar has revealed some mixed injury news at today’s pre-match press conference headlined by Taulima Tautai being ruled out for 6-8 weeks.
That was counteracted by much more positive news around a number of experienced players with Tim Smith, Paul Aiton and Ali Lauitiiti all set to return against Salford on Monday night (7.45pm).
The crucial trio all missed the visit of Wigan last Sunday and will be named in Agar’s 19-man squad to face the City Reds which will be announced on Saturday afternoon.
The Samoan prop, however, dislocated and broke his thumb against the Warriors and has since had an operation which will rule him out until at least next month.
“We are hoping to get some players returning back to our squad this week notably a couple of experienced ones,” admitted Agar.
“Tim Smith will be one, Paul Sykes after a fairly lengthy lay off will be another, Ali Lauitiiti will be another one and we’re waiting on Andy Raleigh at the minute to see if we can include him as well.
“From last week Taulima Tautai has got a broken and dislocated thumb so he’s had an operation and will probably be out for 6-8 weeks which is a bit of a blow for us because he’s made a particularly promising start with us.
“That’s one that has hit us, especially with Andy being down at the moment and obviously we’re a little bit light in the front-row but hopefully Andy will make it through this week and bolster us a little bit there and cover for Taulima.
“It is a blow because he’s gone really well with us in his first two weeks and he was proving to be a really popular player for us.”
A youthful team impressed against Wigan with the likes of Matty Wildie and Lucas Walshaw standing out for the hosts and the Trinity boss says that has given him food for thought in the selection process.
“It’s probably fair to say a player like Ali Lauitiiti would be hard to leave out of the side but we’ll have a look at how they shape up in the week and we’ll make a call on them. With it being a Monday night game we’ve got a little bit more preparation for this one but the likelihood is that they will come straight back in.
“Then it’s how we construct the makeup of the team and go about making our bench up while covering for some of those guys that are coming back from injury.
“Frankie has been unavailable for us for the last couple of weeks due to the terms of his loan deal but I am hoping to pick him as soon as I possibly can.”
You can listen to a full injury update from Agar HERE while a full preview from the head coach will be available over the weekend.
Make sure you witness the Wildcats first ever trip to the Salford City Stadium and make sure you are there to witness it by purchasing your tickets for the vital clash.
Tickets are priced at £20 adults, £15 concessions and just £10 for juniors and they can be bought from the Stadium Box Office, Ridings Centre store or by calling 01924 201548.
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