LONG-TERM CASUALTY Chris Annakin is ready to continue his comeback when Wakefield Trinity square up to Leeds Rhinos tomorrow.
Annakin suffered a knee injury in a game against Wigan last July and then damaged a hip in a road accident the following month.
A shoulder problem earlier this season continued his run of bad luck, but he returned in Trinity’s 34-24 win at Salford Red Devils last Sunday and is in the initial 19-man squad for this weekend’s derby.
Annakin described being back on the field as “brilliant”, but admitted: “Obviously it was a bit nerve-wracking, my first game back and I was straight in at the deep end.
“I was hoping I might have a little chance to play some dual-reg, get some minutes up and a bit of confidence.
“But apart from the pre-season friendlies, last week was my fourth game this year so I was really pleased.
“I’ve still got a little bit more weight to put on; I felt like I didn’t have the same impact I can have at times, but I was really happy with how my shoulder held out.”
Annakin’s return is a boost for Trinity after back-rower Tinirau Arona tore a hamstring in the bank-holiday win at Wigan Warriors and Danny Kirmond suffered a knee injury in the same game.
“Unfortunately for some we picked up quite a few injuries last week, but we have strength in numbers so players like me can come in now and do the job they were doing, take our shot and hopefully try keep our position,” Annakin said.
Wakefield are on a seven-game winning run ahead of tomorrow’s fourth-versus-third Betfred Super League clash.
Annakin described the game as “massive” and added: “We have this little roll going on.
“You always play a lot better when you’re fully confident and on a winning streak, so we need to keep this going as long as we can.”
Forwards Mitch Allgood (broken arm) and Dean Handley (fractured cheekbone) are set to feature tomorrow after lengthy lay-offs.
Full-back Scott Grix, who was rested last Sunday, has been recalled to Trinity’s 19-man squad and centre Bill Tupou is also vying for a recall.
Ashley Gibson and Reece Lyne drop out from last week’s team.