Arm break sees Ashall face 12 weeks on sidelines
INFLUENTIAL hooker Karl Ashall is set to be out of action for 12 weeks after breaking his arm against Oldham in Barrow’s second pre-season friendly last Sunday.
Coach Paul Crarey revealed the forward may not return until March, which see him miss the remainder of the pre-season and the iPro Sport Cup tie at Rochdale Mayfield.
Barrow host Cumbrian rivals Whitehaven this Sunday, with the void left by Ashall ready to be filled by Nathan Mossop, who has recovered from injury.
Crarey also has talented youngsters Brad Marwood and Dan Abram at his disposal with all three are in line to face Haven in what should be a thriller (kick-off 2pm).
Ashall is held in high esteem by the Raiders coach and he said of the player’s injury: “He’s snapped his arm, he has got to have a operation this week, so it probably rules him out for 12 weeks.
“We will get him back some time at the end of March, hopefully.
“He has trained the house down and I felt so sorry for him. He was really up for it this year and has trained really well. We are disappointed but he will come back strong.”
He added: “He is pretty big for a nine, he’s calm and a great distributer of the ball but we have a good compliment of people that can play nine and all have different styles.
“Him and Mossy were probably our two key nines, with the two young lads finding their feet, but now they will have to step up.
“But they stepped up really well last year, Brad and Dan, so it is nothing new to them, they can do it, but missing Karl is a big blow, for him as well because he focused on a really good start to the year. He is pretty strong mentally so he will come back strong.
Looking ahead, Crarey added: “We have got Mossy, Brad Marwood and Dan Abram. We will rotate three, we have got to be very careful we don’t lose any more, we definitely need the three to work it between them.
“Mossy is in our starting nine, so the other two will share the load. All three will play against Whitehaven.”