Huddersfield Giants head coach Rick Stone has had some positive news over the recovery of Ukuma Ta’ai.
The 30-year-old Tongan international has spent a spell on the sidelines after a back injury he sustained earlier in the season.
“Ukuma’s still a couple of weeks away from a return to the team,” explained Stone.
“However, he got a good report from his specialist recently and he had some scans and his back is responding pretty well to treatment and it looks like he’s not going to need surgery which is a big relief.
“He will probably be another two weeks from playing I would suggest,so he’s nearly back in the main training.”
“We’ve been missing him, Ukuma started the season in great form, you look at how destructive he and Seb Ikahihifo were in the first couple of games and they were really impressive for us.
“He’s been a mainstay in the team since he’s been here, he hasn’t missed many games through injury at all but a bit of wear and tear and pressure on his back has got the better of him so we need to get him right to make sure we can get him through the rest of the year.”
Hometown product Michael Lawrence has also been a long-term injury casualty and Stone is hopeful the 27-year-old England Knights international is also progressing towards a first team return.
“He’s is getting better,” added Stone.
“With his sort of surgery it’s a bit of a patience game because there is a time frame connected with that sort of micro-fracture surgery that you need to be patient with but he’s definitely over the hump now and he’s starting to get some decent work into himself.
“He can feel a bit better about himself now that he can start doing some stuff, he’ll be running soon and hopefully we’ll see him back on the field.
“It was a 12 to 16 week injury that he had depending on how the body reacts so it’s a significant injury so there’s still a way yet.”
Former Huddersfield Giants academy player Chris Kendall will be in the Chris Kendall will be in the middle in Perpignan - his third Giants game on the trot.