SHAUN Wane is backing Stuart Fielden to battle back from his latest injury setback – after the prop’s return to action was put back to August.
Fielden has not played in more than a year, a knee operation ruling him out until last summer and then a pectoral injury ending his campaign.
Now the 32-year-old – out of contract at the end of the season – has been told he faces at least five months longer on the sidelines after undergoing another micro-fracture on his knee, because the original procedure did not fully work.
But Wane is sure he can still be “an asset” for the club this year.
The coach said: “The one thing we know about Stu is he’s a great pro.
“It’s unfortunate, but when he got the news, I spoke to him that day and he was upbeat, and just thinking about how he’ll have a dig and talking about when he’s back.
“That’s the kind of character he is – he never gives up.” Fielden, a former Test prop, spent his day-off yesterday at former club Bradford after volunteering to help man the phones and take fans’ pledges for the cash-strapped outfit.
“He spent 10 years there – he’s a Bradford legend and I’m happy he’s helping them out,” said Wane.
“I don’t know the background to Bradford’s problems, but it is sad. They’re a great club.”
Bradford need to raise £500,000 by next week or risk going bust, leading to speculation they may have a fire-sale of their best players.
Wane admitted he had looked at the Bulls squad but added: “I’ve no-one in my mind. If I see someone who can make our squad better I’ll look at it – but that goes for any other time as well.”