Rugby league: Pat Walker toe woe for Sheffield Eagles

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Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston has confirmed that Pat Walker’s injury is worse than first feared, and he could now be set for a spell on the sidelines.

The versatile half-back was withdrawn in the recent defeat with Bradford Bulls with what was later revealed to be a broken toe. It was initially thought that Walker could play with the aid of an injection, but further inspection of the injury has shown that the problem is now far worse than initially expected.

It could mean that the former Dewsbury man could face a prolonged spell out, as Aston awaits the results of more scans on the troublesome toe.

“It is worse than what we initially thought,” Aston confirmed to The Star.

“He has broken it in two places; the ligament has ripped off the bone and pulled some of the bone off too. He might have to end up having that pinned now; we are having to have a look at that.”

The news will come as a blow to Aston who has been continually forced into changes to his side following a string of injuries to key players.

The Eagles chief did have better news on the rest of his squad, with scrum-half Dominic Brambani set to return after getting the all-clear following a head injury at Bradford, while Aussie Steve Thorpe has also been given the green light to train following a similar issue picked up in the same game.

Full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae is also expected to be back to full fitness after missing the victory over Doncaster, while Aston also admitted that Menzie Yere came through the South Yorkshire derby win despite having injections for a rib problem.

“Q (Quentin Laulu-Togagae) will be fine for the next game,” added Aston. “Thorpey will be okay too. He certainly doesn’t like missing games and neither does Dom (Brambani) who I expect will be back, so we are going to have some headaches with selection, and we need to get it right.

“We have that competition for places again that I am always looking for. That is always the key for me; I speak about it all the time because it gets all the players looking over their shoulder and brings about consistency.”

The Eagles host Dewsbury on Tuesday night at The Keepmoat Stadium, kick-off 8pm. Meanwhile, the home fixtures against Whitehaven (Saturday June 13, 2pm) and Workington (Sunday June 28, 5.15pm) will be played at Doncaster Knights’ Castle Park.