Former Great Britain international Lee Gilmour is preparing to resume his career at the age of 37.
Jamie Peacock (Leeds) and Adrian Morley (Salford), who both turn 38 this year, are the only Super League players older than Gilmour, who began his professional career with Wigan in 1997 and went on to play for Bradford, St Helens, Huddersfield and Castleford before moving to Wakefield last year.
Gilmour, who played in the final 13 matches of last season to take his total of Super League appearances past 400, joined the coaching staff in the winter but remained on the playing register to provide back-up for head coach James Webster.
Now, with injuries depleting Webster’s small squad, the Dewsbury-born second rower is stepping up his training and is poised to make his return just after the busy Easter period when clubs are crying out for new blood.
“Lee has started training,” Webster said. “He had a really big knee operation in the off season, which wiped him out for a while.
“With the amount of people we had in his position, he was thinking ‘I’ll start training a bit later than I probably need to’.
“I reckon, in two or three weeks, Lee will be getting closer to being able to play. He’s keen on doing it – we’ll see how he goes.
“He’s a guy who has played 500 games but he’s still fit and he still knows how to play. Realistically, we got him as a coach first and back-up player second. He understands that.”
Webster has been able to bolster his pack with the month-long loan signings of Jordan Hand (St Helens) and George Griffin (Salford) for tomorrow’s home game against Huddersfield.
Wakefield will give a debut to former Castleford and Hull centre Joe Arundel against the Giants in place of the injured Reece Lyne.