Oldham Athletic v Harrogate Town: Josh Falkingham hopeful of Boxing Day return

Josh Falkingham says he is “doing everything I possibly can” to be fit for Harrogate Town’s Boxing Day clash with Oldham Athletic.

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 12:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 12:56 pm
Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham in League Cup action against West Bromwich Albion earlier this season. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites’ skipper missed Saturday’s defeat to Salford City with a hamstring injury sustained at Exeter last Tuesday, but is hopeful of being able to return to action this weekend.

“I’ve got a little tear, the smallest grade you can get, however you’re still looking at 10-14 days as a minimum, so this Saturday is pushing it,” Falkingham said.

“But, I’m hopeful that I will be able to play. I’ve been in this week getting treatment and I’ve stepped up my rehab. We’re assessing it day by day and I’m trying to push myself a bit more each time. To be honest, it’s felt fine so far.

Josh Falkingham limped out of Town's recent win at Exeter City with a minor hamstring tear.

“I hate to miss any game, I’m desperate to get back for Oldham and I’ll be doing all I possibly can to make sure I’m available, even if it means doing rehab on Christmas Day.”

Determined to play though he is, Falkingham insists he will only risk turning out at Boundary Park if he feels 100 per cent.

“Like I say, I really want to play in the game. For me, whoever you’re playing, Boxing Day fixtures are always big occasions, they seem to have an extra edge to them,” he added.

“But, I can’t afford to be stupid about it. If I’m not 100 per cent, I won’t be involved. The last thing you want is to pull up in the warm-up or early on in the game.

“It would be more disappointing to miss eight weeks because of rushing back. It’s also not fair on the rest of the team, I’d be letting them down more coming back too soon than sitting out one more match.”

Unlike many other professional clubs, Town will not train on Christmas Day, and Falkingham says that he and his team-mates are grateful for that.

He added: “As players, we are lucky to have that trust from the manager and to be able to spend such precious time with our families at this time of year.”