Rugby League: Ward avoids more surgery

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The Independent Online
KEVIN WARD, the St Helens prop, has avoided the need for an immediate second operation on the leg that he broke in February. The former Great Britain front rower almost lost the leg after complications set in following the break in a Challenge Cup match at Wigan, writes Dave Hadfield.

Ward had been readmitted to hospital after suffering from an infection around the pin that was holding the fracture in place. 'Another operation would have put me back to square one and made it very difficult for me to get back playing,' said Ward, who is 36.

He still harbours thoughts of playing for Saints again, although it now looks certain that any comeback would be after an absence of a year - a formidable proposition for a player of his age.

He certainly will not play for his country again, but he will be an interested viewer when Great Britain play New Zealand at Wembley tomorrow. 'One thing I was worried about was being taken to the hospital where they would have done the operation and not being able to watch the match on TV,' he said.

Ward's view is that Great Britain have a daunting task in the forwards against a Kiwi pack who have impressed him in their matches against Wales and Wigan. The absence of Ward and the Wigan pair, Kelvin Skerrett and Andy Platt, has left Great Britain looking thin in the front row.

Better news in the longer term is that Platt expects to play his first match of the season, after a shoulder-pinning operation, against Leigh on Tuesday and that Skerrett, who has had minor surgery on his knee, is scheduled to return in the top of the table clash at Halifax the following Sunday.