Sheffield Tigers on hunt for new addition as Bates return delayed

Josh Bates. Picture: Andy Garner
Josh Bates. Picture: Andy Garner
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Sheffield Tigers co-promoter Damien Bates has revealed the club are on the lookout for a new temporary signing.

It comes with the news that Tigers favourite Josh Bates is still facing some time on the sidelines after breaking a vertebrae in a freak sledging accident in pre-season.

Bates says his nephew is making good progress, but needs to put the team first by potentially signing a rider on a 28-day contract.

Said Bates: “Josh had an update from the hospital last week and the bones in his back have healed which is fantastic news.

“But unfortunately he’s got a problem with sciatica which is going to take a little bit longer to get over.

“He needs to get fit again anyway but he’s starting some hydrotherapy as well as the usual physiotherapy and gym work too.

“So he really is doing everything possible to be back. as soon as he can – but he does need a bit longer and we’re not going to rush him.

“I think realistically we have to be looking at another month to six weeks before we see him back racing.

“With that in mind I think we have to look at bringing someone in on a 28-day, temporary contract.

“Charles (Wright) and Todd (Kurtz) are okay at covering for him but using rider replacement has maybe added a little bit of extra pressure on the two reserves which they could probably do without while they’re still trying to settle in properly.

“Rider replacement only got three points for him at Scunthorpe and he’s worth six or seven minimum on the road usually whereas he’s normally good for double figures at Sheffield.

“So he is hard to replace, but I think we need to bring someone in to help the rest of the boys out a little bit.

“We’re looking at the options available to us and we may have something in place for Thursday but we’ll have to wait and see.”

The Tigers can go back to the top of their Championship Shield group if they beat Redcar at Owlerton on Thursday (April 26, 7.30).