CENTRE Matty Blythe is hoping to be back in action before the end of the month and is nearing full fitness.
The 25-year-old Bradford Bulls talent has spent more than eight weeks on the sidelines, after going under the knife back in January.
Blythe made his loan move from Warrington to Bradford permanent during the closed season, but has been set back by a hand injury sustained prior to the turn of the New Year.
Having missed the opening rounds of First Utility Super League XIX and all of the Bulls’ pre-season battles, the three-quarter is itching to grab a piece of the action.
“I tore one of the tendons in my thumb and knew I would be out for a lengthy period, but it has recovered well and is mending in good time,” said Blythe.
“I feel fine, physically, but I will just need to catch up on a few things with the rest of the squad, such as, the plays and core skills.”
Blythe bagged seven tries during his first season with the Bulls, last term, and is now intent on forcing his way back into first-team contention.
Upon his return Blythe is likely to face stiff opposition in the centres from the likes of Adam Henry and Adrian Purtell, who have each impressed during the season-opening ties.
Despite being handed the No.4 berth for 2014 by Bulls head coach Francis Cummins, Manchester-born Blythe knows he is facing a difficult test this spring.
“I knew, even at the start of the year, that cementing a place in the team would be tough,” he added.
“I am not one of these players who thinks they have an automatic spot in the first team, just because I have been given a starting shirt.
“I know I am going to have to work hard, prove my worth to the team and remain a senior away from the field.
“But I can assure you, when back fit and in the mix for a spot in the team, I will be giving everything for this fantastic club.”
Matty Blythe is being proudly sponsored by Smith Harrison for the 2014 campaign.