Sheffield Eagles are trying a different approach in order to get Duane Straugheir back to full fitness.
The long-serving second-rower has been struggling in recent weeks with a troublesome groin issue, which he has failed to shake off despite returning to the fold against Rochdale.
Initially Aston explained that Straugheir would try to play through the issue. But, after a failed comeback attempt, he was pulled out of the squad for the weekend’s heavy defeat to Halifax, with Aston explaining they would try a different approach to get the root of the problem.
“Duane Straugheir has had an injection last Tuesday night to try and settle his injury down,” Aston explained to The Star.
“That means he won’t be around for the next week or two, so it was important that we got the likes of Paddy Flynn and Jack Owens in which has given us some more strength in depth.
“We are trying to work with him.
“Can he get through it? Yes, but at some stage we have to draw a line and ask if he is doing himself any good.
“Is it doing us any good as well as a team? We decided that we needed to do something different.”
Aston acknowledged Straugheir’s desire to play through the pain barrier after picking him for the recent victories of Swinton and Rochdale, but admitted his belief that the injury had affected his performances.
Now the Eagles chief is willing to play a longer game in order to get one of his key performers back to his best.
“When he came back he hadn’t played for six weeks so there was always going to be some kind of reaction,” Aston concluded.
“It is one of them that isn’t going away quickly.
“He has been very tender and sore, so he hasn’t been doing a great deal.
“He understood if he played he would be judged. If he didn’t hit the straps then his position wasn’t guaranteed.
“I wouldn’t have picked him against Halifax because he just wasn’t hitting the straps.
“Every player has to be judged on their performance and his standard wasn’t back to where it was.
“We took the call away from him. He has had an injection now to try and settle the issues down and we are confident that in the next couple of weeks he will be fine and we will have him back.”