A quartet who’ve missed a combined total of 25 weeks will look to return in Saturday’s grand final qualifier.
Both undefeated Albury and Wodonga Raiders have two players apiece who are desperate to return.
Star Albury duo Brayden O’Hara and Luke Packer haven’t played since round 14 against Myrtleford on July 21.
“Luke’s been going through his training the last month and a bit, so he’s trained with us on the weekend and if he gets through training this week and the tests, he’ll be right to play,” co-coach Shaun Daly said.
The 34-year-old pulled out of last year’s grand final with a hamstring complaint and was then forced off in his 250th game against Raiders in round two.
“There’s always that concern that he won’t come up,” Daly said.
“The thing about him, he’s the captain of the club and doesn’t put a foot wrong and as he did in the ‘grannie’ (grand final), if he doesn’t feel he’s right, he’ll put his hand up and say he’s not right.”
O’Hara injured his ankle against Wodonga in late May, missed a month and then damaged his calf.
If he doesn’t feel he’s right, he’ll put his hand up and say he’s not right.Shaun Daly
Meanwhile, a Raiders’ veteran has missed the last three games.
“It was a little thigh complaint, which is not too bad, but it’s just niggling enough to be holding me out there at the minute,” Mark Doolan said.
Doolan, also 34 last month like Packer, believes he’s better than a 50-50 chance.
“But again it depends on how the week of training pans out, I think I need to be playing this week to get myself back in there,” he said.
And rugged teenager Daniel Bond is hoping to overcome two separate ankle injuries this season.
“I fractured the right ankle and then tore ligaments in the left one at training,” he said.
Like the Albury duo, Bond also hasn’t played since July 21.
Strongly built at 90kgs, the utility adds an aggressive edge to Raiders.
North Albury’s Bunton Park will host the clash.
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