Wakefield Wildcats: Scans hope to determine extent of Locke injury

Kevin Locke
Kevin Locke

WAKEFIELD TRINITY Wildcats are awaiting results of a scan which will determine whether star full-back Kevin Locke can play again this year.

Locke, who has made just three appearances for Wildcats, needed hospital treatment after suffering an arm/chest injury early in last Sunday’s home defeat by Castleford Tigers.

Wildcats complete their First Utility Super League campaign with a trip to Huddersfield Giants this weekend and then face seven games in the Qualifiers, so a long-term injury would be season-ending. Wakefield chairman Michael Carter said Locke had an initial scan on Monday and underwent more tests yesterday.

“There’s a possibility it might not be as bad as first thought,” Carter said. “He is seeing a specialist in Manchester and we’ll know more when we get the results back. We are still looking at the worst -case scenario, which is he is out for the season, but we are hoping that might change when we hear back.

“He had some movement, it’s not that he could not move his arm, but if it does turn out he has fully torn his biceps, that will be his season over.”

Wildcats announced the signing of former Leeds Rhinos utility-back Lee Smith, who played for them in 2012 and 2013, on Sunday evening and have since added centre/winger Bill Tupou, from Canberra Raiders. That takes the total number of signings made since Brian Smith was named coach, at the end of May, to eight, but Carter said more recruitment is unlikely before Friday’s transfer deadline.

He added: “We’ve had a couple of enquiries for players going out, but we’ve decided to look at keeping everybody, so if we get injuries we are covered.”

Centre/second-row Matt Ryan was released on Monday, becoming the fifth departure in the past two months and Carter explained: “With us bringing Bill in we had to create space on the [overseas] quota. We had kind of decided we wouldn’t be offering Matt a deal for next year so we sat down and said ‘what would be the best option for you’? He needed to play some games to try and earn a contract for next year, though I don’t know where he’s going.

“It was a case of having to free up space in our squad and also trying to be fair to Matt at the same time.”