Prop Oliver Wilkes will be out to demonstrate he is back to full fitness when he lines up for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in their final pre-season game, at Batley Bulldogs on Sunday.
Wilkes underwent surgery to remove his appendix earlier this month, causing him to miss Wildcats’ training camp in France and last Sunday’s pre-season win over Castleford Tigers.
Boss Richard Agar has yet to decide on his front-row or substitutes for the Stobart Super League opener at Widnes Vikings a week tonight, so Wilkes will have a point to prove at Mount Pleasant.
“I had appendicitis about three weeks ago,” Wilkes said. “I had an operation to have them removed, I am fully recovered now and I am ready to play.”
Of the illness, Wilkes said: “It came on all of a sudden. It came on on the Tuesday night, I felt a bit off at about 5 o’clock and by 2am I was in agony.
“I went to hospital and they pretty much got them out straight away, within the next 12 hours or something like that.
“Then it was just a case of healing, but I got infected so that took slightly longer than I wanted it to.
“But there’s no dramas now, I am playing this weekend and hopefully it will give me a good opportunity to get some miles in my legs and be available for selection against Widnes.”
Wilkes lost almost five kilos in weight, but said: “I have pretty much put all that back on. It was just a case of getting some decent grub down me and doing some decent training.
“It’s all good now and I’m looking forward to playing. I missed the French trip, but I was doing weights sessions in the gym with the other guys who didn’t go.
“I have maintained quite a bit and I’ve done quite a bit of conditioning work over the last week and a half, so I am raring to go.”
Wilkes has returned to Wildcats after two-season stint with Harlequins. He has also played in Super League for Sheffield, Huddersfield, Leigh and Wigan.
“It’s great to be back,” he said. “It is new staff, new players and they are doing work on the ground. It is exciting times to be at Wakefield and I’m glad to be part of it.”
Meanwhile, former Wakefield forward Jarrad Hickey is looking for a club after his hopes of joining London Broncos were dashed.
Hickey would have been Broncos’ sixth non-Federation trained player, one over the Super League quota.
A club statement said: “London Broncos have done everything within their means to try to rectify this unfortunate situation without success.
“The club will now work with Jarrad to assist him during this difficult time and continue to explore alternative playing opportunities for him.”
Wildcats: Tony, Morton, Cowling, Walshaw, Fletcher, Wildie, Wood, Wilkes, Ellis, Amor, Mariano, Slater, Trout. Subs Kay, Davey, Spiers, Annakin, James, Ansell, Lillycrop, Gleadhill.
* The West Yorkshire derby between Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats will kick off this year’s Magic Weekend at Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium.
The two rivals will meet in the event’s opening game, at 1pm on Saturday, May 26.