Wakefield Trinity's Tom Johnstone nears return from ACL injury

Tom Johnstone. PIC: Isabel Pearce/SWpix.com.
Tom Johnstone. PIC: Isabel Pearce/SWpix.com.

Tom Johnstone is in line to make his Wakefield Trinity return this month.

The prolific winger missed the majority of the 2019 campaign after suffering a second anterior cruciate ligament injury in three years.

Wakefield kicked off their pre-season schedule with a clash against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day, losing 30-4 at Headingley.

Trinity are next in action on Sunday, January 12 as they host Hull Kingston Rovers – their first opponents of the 2020 Super League season – to celebrate Danny Brough’s testimonial.

And head coach Chris Chester hopes to have Johnstone back on the field next weekend.

“Tom has trained with the team a lot over the last few weeks,” he said.

“We have pencilled him in for the friendly against Hull KR at home.”

Meanwhile, Tinirau Arona and David Fifita could miss the opening match of the season at the Robins on January 31.

Arona was sidelined for a large chunk of last term with an ACL injury while Fifita has undergone surgery on a troublesome foot problem which saw him miss the final month of last season.

Trinity also face Huddersfield Giants as part of their pre-season preparations, with Chester hoping to field his strongest possible side in that fixture.

“Ti Arona is a month behind Tom so he is touch and go for the first game of the season, as is David Fifita,” Chester added.

“But the other guys are in good shape.

“We will go with the strongest team possible for the Huddersfield game.”

Trinity’s injury problems last season saw them locked in a battle to beat the drop, with the four-way relegation fight going to the final day.

They managed to survive with a win over London Broncos and Chester now feels his side are in a better position to cope if another spate of injuries come their way.

“We are in a better spot should we get an injury crisis like last year,” he insisted.

“We have got a better squad and more depth and we are all a little bit wiser for what happened.

“And we will know how to manage that next year should that situation arise.”