Duane Straugheir has stepped up his rehabilitation as he looks to be available for the final quarter of Sheffield Eagles’ Kingstone Press Championship season.
The versatile back-rower has been missing for the Eagles since fracturing his eye socket during the Challenge Cup defeat at Wakefield Wildcats in April.
With the Eagles slipping to another defeat to London Broncos at the Summer Bash in Blackpool at the weekend, a return for Straugheir and other long- term injury victim Steve Thorpe can’t come soon enough for coach Mark Aston.
But whilst Straugheir confirms that he is firmly on the comeback trail, it could be another three weeks before he is given the green light to return to competitive action.
“They said initially that it was going to be around eight weeks from the time of the injury until I would be able to do any contact work,” Straugheir told The Star.
“The simple reason for that is the because of the plates and the screws that have had to be put in there, it needs time before I can get involved physically again.”
With new captain Thorpe sidelined after suffering a broken cheekbone in the recent game with Bradford Bulls, Aston is missing two key figures at a crucial stage of the season.
Whilst a place in the Championship’s elite top four was the aim at the start of the campaign, Aston’s strugglers have now fallen nine points behind fourth placed Batley which has surely put an end to any ambitions of making the Super 8s.
Straugheir admits it has been tough to be sidelined as the Eagles continued to falter, but he admitted that he is doing everything possible to keep his fitness levels high as he looks for a swift return to action.
“I sometimes look on it as a positive that because there has been some nerve damage, I can’t really feel any pain,” he added.
“That has allowed me pretty quickly to get back on a treadmill and also lift a few weights.
“It is a frustrating time because I feel physically fine, my body feels great, in fact I feel now that I am ready to come back.
“The injury still needs time to heal though, so I’ll leave it as long as I have to before contact training, and just make sure when that time comes I am firing and ready to go.”