HALIFAX coach Karl Harrison has confirmed that back rower Ross Divorty will make his long-awaited debut for the club in tomorrow night’s under 23 fixture against Featherstone at Post Office Road.
And he could be joined on the teamsheet by Papua New Guinea prop Makali Aizue, with the blockbusting forward, who has yet to lace a boot in anger in 2012 after ankle surgery, seeking 11th-hour medical clearance to play.
Divorty, a close-season signing from Rovers after featuring in their Championship Grand Final winning side, broke a vertebrae in a potentially-disastrous gym accident before Christmas but finally returned to training two weeks ago.
“Ross is ready to go and will definitely play some part tomorrow,” said Harrison, whose top team take on Divorty’s hometown club, York, in league action at the Huntington Stadium on Sunday.
“It was a nasty injury, but he’s healthy, he’s looking really good in training and we’re all looking forward to seeing him on the field.
“If things go to plan for him this week, we’ll look to involve him in the first team for the Challenge Cup against Myton next weekend and take things from there.
“Makali’s a bit more complicated, he’s got an appointment to see the specialist tomorrow afternoon and his situation depends on that.
“If they say he’s okay, there is a chance he could play but it’s probably more likely that we’ll leave him another week until the Myton game.
“He’s training okay, but he’s a big bloke and it’s harder for him to get up to speed.”
With prop Sam Barlow already two reserve games down the comeback trail and in-form forwards Dane Manning and Craig Ashall both free from suspension this weekend, Harrison is finally edging closer to fielding the pack he built from scratch last autumn.
The one missing piece in the jigsaw, the Scotland international Iain Morrison, could be back in action by the end of the month after undergoing successful knee cartilage surgery this week.
“Iain’s had the op, I’ve spoken to him and it all went well,” said Harrison.
“They’re saying two to three weeks recovery time, perhaps a month at the outside.
“Once everyone is fit, we’re going to have some difficult decisions to make, but these experienced blokes need to earn their right to get back in the team, they’re not just going to walk in there.
“The young players who have been there the last month - Anthony Bowman, Josh Barlow, Callum Casey and Joe Chandler - have done the job for us and they do not deserve to just drop out if they’re playing well.”