THREE of Sheffield Eagles first team squad face a battle to start the new season.
Club captain Jack Howieson (knee), Pat Smith (hernia) and Vinny Finigan (shoulder) have all had or need operations on long-term injuries.
The squad started pre-season training last week but the trio will have to battle through rehab ahead of the Championship kick-off in February.
Winger Finigan struggled with a shoulder problem for most of last season and was on the sidelines when the Eagles triumphed in the Grand Final. He said: “It’s been an ongoing injury for about a year and a half. The sling is off now and hopefully I’ll be back at the end of February or early March.”
Loose forward Joe Hirst, who missed the Grand Final after breaking his jaw in the semi, is back in training with the squad.