ratu closes on return

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CROCKED Halifax centre Mike Ratu has been given the green light to resume weight training next week, a little over three months after breaking his arm against Oldham.

Ratu, the former Leeds and Hull KR player, only joined Fax at Christmas but underwent surgery after suffering a complex fracture in the first half of the 50-10 Northern Rail Cup thrashing of the Roughyeds in February, breaking his ulna and dislocating his wrist.

At the time, medics estimated the powerful threequarter would be sidelined for 16 weeks, putting him on course for a mid-June comeback.

“They’ve told Mike he can start upper body weights again on May 23, so that’s good news for him,” said Fax boss Matt Calland.

“He’ll come back in and start work again and we’ll see how he goes from there.

“I think it will still be a while before we see him back on the field though.”

Calland, whose bottom-of-the-table side host Sheffield on Sunday, also confirmed the club maintained an interest in BARLA and Leigh East captain Ryan Fieldhouse.

Fieldhouse, the son of former Fax forward John, consistently impressed as a trialist early in the year, but has not pulled on a shirt since the home league defeat by Featherstone in March.

“Ryan picked up an injury playing for Leigh East,” said Calland.

“He’s playing out the play offs with them now and then he’s got the tour to Australia with BARLA.

“After that, we’ll sit down and talk about him coming back here.

“We are certainly still interested in Ryan.”

Fax were due to train tonight under the tutelage of Calland and coaching consultant Brian Noble, with the fitness of injured backs James Haley (leg), Jon Goddard (ribs) and Miles Greenwood (hamstring) on the agenda.

Fax could also find out in the next 24 hours the extent of the shoulder injury suffered by dual-registered Huddersfield forward Jon Molloy.

Molloy was due to have a scan on the shoulder injury that sidelined him at Featherstone today.

Calland will also be waiting for news from Red Hall, where Sam Barlow will front the RFL’s disciplinary committee after being placed on report for a high tackle on Andy Lynch on the first tackle of the Challenge Cup loss to Bradford.

Any ban would rule Barlow out of the clash with his former club on Sunday.