DONCASTER winger Dean Colton is facing a race against time to be fit for Sunday’s crucial Championship One encounter against Whitehaven at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The former Toll Bar junior hasn’t played since suffering a groin injury in training on the eve of the trip to Rochdale at the start of last month.
Colton said: “It’s been frustrating because July was a tough month for us with three away games against the leading sides and they are the games that you want to play in.”
The former Scottish World Cup winger resumed training last week.
“My groin felt sore after I did some jogging but it doesn’t feel too bad at the minute,” he said prior to last night’s session.
“I’ve not done any sprinting yet and that will be the big test. I’m hoping to come into contention but if I’m not 100 per cent I won’t risk it for the sake of another week or so.”
Irrespective of whether he plays, Colton says he is expecting a tough match against the Cumbrians, who would be challenging for a top-two spot but for having nine points deducted after running into financial problems last season.
“We didn’t play our best on the day when we played them up there in April but we didn’t get hammered and we only lost 26-16,” he told The Star.
“They are a big set but it is a game that we’ll be looking to win. We’ve got three games left and we need to win them all if we are to finish in the top three. I think everyone will be up for it after the defeat at Keighley in our last game ten days ago and out to prove a point. Since then Keighley have beaten leaders Swinton and gone clear second.
“They aren’t a bad side. They don’t do anything fancy but they’ve got some big players. They’ll obviously be a threat in the play-offs if they fail to catch Swinton, but If we can keep clear of injuries then I think that we’ve got as good a chance as anybody.”
Having been part of the Doncaster side which won promotion to rugby league’s second tier in 2008, Colton knows what it takes to go up via the play-offs.
“We’ve got a lot of young players in the squad and if I can pass on my experience of the play-offs to anyone then I’ll be happy to do so,” he said.