Wakefield Trinity star Ben Jones-Bishop feared he may never play again after second blood clot

WAKEFIELD Trinity winger Ben Jones-Bishop feared he may not play again after a second blood clot and thanked chief executive Michael Carter for allowing a gradual return to action.

Wakefield's Ben Jones-Bishop. Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The Jamaica international made his first appearance in 11 months as he featured in Thursday’s 26-23 loss against Hull FC.

Sprightly Jones-Bishop, 32, looked like he had never been away with a couple of surges down the right flank, one that set up Max Jowitt’s second try.

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But, having missed six months with a clot on his lung at Leeds Rhinos in 2013, he had been worried he may have to retire.

Wakefield's Ben Jones-Bishop takes a high ball against Hull FC.

Jones-Bishop told The Yorkshire Post: “In the early days – December, January – I probably did think that because of the scans.

“You have to wait three months for them before you can see the consultant so you feel in limbo.

“They were challenging times. But my long-term goal was always to try and get to the World Cup so once those results came back I was ready to go and it was great to get back out there on Thursday.”

However, he revealed Carter had initially allowed his request to sit out the rest of the season.

He explained: “It’s been an indifferent year all-round with Covid and how it’s affected the comp’. I’d have been ready at the end of May but that got pushed back.

“I had a last minute change of heart and decided to stay at home when we did return. I’m very grateful to Michael for allowing me to do that.

“With everything changing –the comp’, no relegation and the club having already brought in another winger in Liam Kay – I thought it would be best.

“I’d been out for so long – my last game was for Jamaica on October 20 – and I thought it’d be best to just have that rest. But I didn’t want to leave the club in the lurch and I always said if they needed me I’d be back.

“With players missing, I did get that call from Chris Chester a couple of weeks ago. It’s great.”

With Trinity badly down on numbers due to injuries and covid-related issues, the Grand Final winner made his long-awaited return.

“I was quite nervous, probably more so than when I made my debut,” said the Leeds-born wideman.

“But once the whistle goes you go into autopilot, back to what you’re used to.

“Once I’d got that first contact I was fine and some of the big boys have been knocking me around in training the week before so I knew I was ready to go.

“It would have been nice to get the result but it’s just good to be back.

“I was a bit sore in the morning but hopefully I can be in contention for our next game.”

Jones-Bishop admits his situation has been “unique” as he explained: “I’d probably done three or four months self-isolating before it was even a thing.

“It was tough at times. I’d come back in to training for a couple of weeks in March - only for us all to get sent home due to lockdown!

“But once I got my head around it all I was okay.

“I’ve been able to spend time with my family which I wouldn’t before.

“And I was up every morning keeping fit. I think that showed with my performance last night; I felt good out there straight away.”

It was a fifth successive defeat for Wakefield so Jones-Bishop’s experience and class will clearly come in useful in the weeks and months ahead.

“There was some good signs against Hull but we blew a couple of chances in that first half and they went and scored two tries off that so it was a big swing,” he recalled.

“But on the other hand it was great to see young lads like Connor Bailey and Yusuf Aydin make their debuts and Titus Gwaze get some good minutes.”

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James Mitchinson