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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Cumbrian RL ace James Donaldson eyeing Bradford Bulls comeback

Sidelined James Donaldson has pledged to return to action this season to assist rejuvenated Bradford Bulls’ play-off push.

James Donaldson photo
James Donaldson

The ex-Wath Brow Hornets youngster suffered a second major knee injury in his highly-promising Super League career in last month’s win against Castleford Tigers. But he is set to return to action this term and is targeting early August.

“I will try to come back with some fresh legs,” said the Cumbrian back-row forward. I’d had a really good pre-season, after not getting one last year, and was starting to feel good.

“Obviously, this injury is upsetting and was hard to get over at first. It’s a bit of a shame as I felt I was starting to pick up some form and looking forward to the year ahead. Then to be shot down like that. Hopefully I can get some good luck after this.”

Donaldson underwent anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction on his right knee three weeks ago and is already in light rehab.

His 2010 season ended early when he ruptured ligaments in his left knee in a televised Challenge Cup tie. He marked his first-team return in April 2011 with a mammoth defensive stint, putting in 43 tackles, in a win against Harlequins.

And he believes experiencing his first major knee problem could help him this time around.

“It was tough last time, and things are looking better this time,” he said. “I know what I can do with it, and how far to push it.”

He showed strong signs of a return to top form last year and finished the campaign in the England Knights squad, turning out for the international hopefuls in their 26-12 win over Cumbria at Whitehaven.

After a few years in the doldrums, Bradford are showing signs of a resurgence, beating mighty St Helens on Saturday and after seven games are very much in the play-off hunt in seventh place.

“The players are starting to click and we seem to be building in confidence week on week,” he continued.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries, and about eight of us are out now, so it’s a tough time, but some good players are out who will come back and hopefully boost our team.”

Donaldson still keeps close tabs on Wath Brow, who entertain South Wales Scorpions in the Challenge Cup on Saturday.

“They always do well in the Challenge Cup and I’m sure it will be the same this weekend,” he said.

“A lot of promising kids I played with have come through and are starting to show maturity and do really well.”

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