Tiger Heighington ready for comeback
May 19, 2012 - 1:14PM
Injured Wests Tigers back-rower Chris Heighington will definitely be fit to face North Queensland next week, but he admits he’ll be fighting to reclaim his spot in the NRL starting side.
The England international has been sidelined with a hand injury since their round six loss to Brisbane, but says fitness will not be an issue for next Sunday’s clash against the Cowboys at Campbelltown after undergoing a mini pre-season fitness regime for the past six weeks.
Of greater concern for Heighington is the impressive form of Matt Bell who has been brilliant since moving into the starting pack and is averaging 43 tackles a match when starting at lock, Heighington’s preferred position, while the Tigers have embarked on a four-match winning streak.
“I don’t know what role I’ll have. I’ll have to sit down with the coach (Tim Sheens) and wait and see,” Heighington told AAP.
"But obviously everyone’s playing pretty well so I’ll be fighting for my spot.
“If I get the opportunity to start or come off the bench I’ll do my best, but tonight they played really well and we’ll just have to wait and see.”
The 29-year-old felt he was fit to face the Warriors at Leichhardt Oval on Friday night, but after Heighington saw a specialist on Thursday the coaching staff decided it was sensible to hold him back for another week and allow him to get more strength back in his hand.
“I’m ready to go, I was ready to play (against the Warriors) to be honest,” Heighington said.
"The last six weeks have been like a mini pre-season.
"Obviously because it’s a hand injury I can do a lot of running. I’ve got a lot of Ks in the legs and I’m feeling really fit. I’m beating all my previous times.
"I’m feeling really fit and I’ve ripped into the weights as well the last couple of weeks after the hand healed.
“I’ve got to get some strength back in it but I’m definitely playing next week.”