MICHAEL Maguire was keeping his fingers crossed today that Chris Tuson’s knee injury will not rule him out for the season.
The hard-working forward – who limped off in the first-half of Warriors’ 48-6 home victory over Wakefield last Friday night – will have the joint scanned later today.
But doctors have assessed the knee and believe the damage is to the medial ligament, which would only rule him out for between five and six weeks.
Cruciate ligament injuries often sideline players for between six and eight months.
Maguire said last night: “We’re hopeful it’s the medial. He still needs a scan and we can’t rule anything out until we get the results, but the doctors seem pretty positive it isn’t a full blown problem.”
Tuson has been one of the unsung heroes of Wigan’s success under Maguire’s stewardship.
The Leyland-born forward spent time on loan at Castleford early last season and earned a recall with some tireless displays, making 15 appearances during their charge towards the Grand Final.
He just missed out on selection for the Old Trafford showcase but – after agreeing a new two-year deal – has continued to impress this season.
Maguire added: “Chris has been great for us. It was a really tough decision to leave him out of the side at the end of last season (for the Grand Final) but he’s come back and worked hard and earned his opportunities. He’s always willing to work.”
Tuson is the only member of last Friday’s 17 to suffer an injury. And with the rested Thomas Leuluai, Ryan Hoffman and Joel Tomkins available for selection – and Paul Prescott and Stuart Fielden fit again after injury lay-offs – Maguire will have plenty of selection dilemmas for Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final tie at Warrington.
Wigan fringe forward Ben Davies is hoping to follow in Tuson’s footsteps and use a loan-spell at Castleford as a launchpad to crack into Maguire’s side.
Davies scored a try for the Tigers as they snatched a dramatic 26-20 victory at Crusaders on Saturday night to cement their place in the play-off spots at sixth, ahead of Leeds and Hull FC.
Earlier that day, another home-grown front-rower – Eamon O’Carroll – played his first game this year as Wigan’s Under-20s romped to a 44-6 victory over Wakefield.
O’Carroll, who last played for the first-team 14 months ago due to a nightmare run of injuries, came off the bench and ran the ball strongly during an industrious spell.