Rugby League: Sheffield Eagles boss allays fears over injury to Ben Blackmore

Sheffield's Ben Blackmore  tackled by Swinton's Anthony Bate and Grant Gore
Sheffield's Ben Blackmore tackled by Swinton's Anthony Bate and Grant Gore

There is positive news from the treatment room after Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston confirmed that Ben Blackmore’s injury isn’t as bad as first feared.

There were concerns that the former Featherstone winger looked set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines after he hobbled out of last weekend’s victory over Rochdale.

A regular throughout the campaign, Blackmore, pictured, has made 16 appearances this season and often come in for praise from coach Aston.

Tests have confirmed though that Blackmore has not sustained any long-term damage, and while he isn’t expected to feature this weekend, Aston is confident of a swift return for the 24-year-old.

“It looks like Ben will be struggling (for Halifax) but it is not as bad as first feared which is great news,” Aston told The Star.

“It looks like he’ll miss this weekend but we are hopeful that he will be back the week after. It isn’t a break, it is just a strain so hopefully he’ll be back sooner rather than later.

“It is an issue down towards the bottom of his leg. We were really worried that he might have cracked his femur, but he has had the scans which have shown that isn’t the case, it is just a strain. He is walking about now, and we expect that by next week he will be back in full training. The maximum he’ll be out for is two or three weeks, but we hope he’ll be back sooner.

“He has been good for us. The try he set up the other day was simply outstanding, so he is certainly a massive threat offensively, and he has been really good in that area.”

Aston is also without Duane Straugheir for this Sunday’s ‘hosting’ of Fax, who sit just one place and four points above them in the table.

Straugheir has been suffering from a groin issue, with Aston confirming he’s had an injection to try and contain the injury. Perry Whiteley (knee) is also a doubt, but the Eagles chief is working on the possibility of a new signing before the weekend.

If the Eagles are to have a realistic chance of the top four, Aston knows a win against Halifax is a must, adding:

“Halifax have had a couple of smacks, so I expect that they’ll come out firing. They will know that this is a four-pointer, there is no hiding the fact. Both teams will be desperate to win it.”