Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Wigan Warriors centre Oliver Gildart suffered a dislocated shoulder while representing Great Britain against Tonga Invitational.
This injury required surgery, meaning that the 24-year-old would miss the beginning of the 2020 Super League season.
After 11 months on the sidelines, Gildart will finally make his return to the field in a Warriors jersey, as his side takes on the last-placed Hull Kingston Rovers on the 3rd of September.
Under normal circumstances, a player suffering Gildart’s injury would be back by now; however, the mid-season break and rehabilitation complications due to COVID-19 resulted in an extended stint on the sidelines for the England International.
Following an arduous year, Gildart is understandably ecstatic to be returning this Thursday and is looking to reignite his career with potential NRL suitors keeping a close eye on him.
“It has been a really tough 11 months, the longest I’ve been out of the game. Lockdown hasn’t helped, but I’m back and ready to rip in now and hopefully get some form back.” Gildart told Everything Rugby League.
📺 WATCH | “I feel like it’s my debut again. Hopefully I can get out tomorrow and add my little bit to the team.”
💪 @OliverGildart3 spoke to Wigan TV this morning ahead of a potential return after 11 months out with injury.
— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) September 2, 2020
The centre will be returning to a Wigan side that is currently on fire, with the Warriors sitting in outright first on the Super League table and are yet to lose a game following the season restart.
Most recently, the Warriors defeated fellow title contenders the Castleford Tigers 30-22.
Jake Bibby has been filling in for Gildart this season and has been named in the 21-man squad for the Hull Kingston Rovers match, although, we will likely see a centre partnership of Oliver Gildart and Zak Hardaker.
Gildart will also be reuniting with Joe Burgess in a lethal left-edge alliance.
Incoming New Zealand Warriors head coach Nathan Brown has stated that Gildart was on his target list for 2021. Brown has already secured two of those players, meaning the former Huddersfield and St Helens coach will likely be up in the early hours to watch Gildart’s come back.