England centre Michael Shenton has given Castleford Tigers a boost by reporting back to pre-season training fit and raring to go again.
The 2013 Tigers captain ended last season with a serious looking leg injury, but did not have to undergo the operation as feared and has recovered fully.
“I’m fine. It was only a few weeks in the off-season that I had to rest the injury,” Shenton told the Express.
“There’s never a good time to get an injury, but as the season goes the last game of the year is not too bad really and I was lucky that I just had to rest it for a few weeks then get back in to do my rehab.
“I had an MRI scan and it showed quite a lot of damage, but sometimes these scans don’t show everything and fortunately I came away pretty much unscathed.
“It was a hamstring tear. It was at the end of my hamstring towards the knee and I pulled it off the bone a little bit. I just had to give it time to reattach.
“I had to wear a knee brace for a few weeks and just do bits of rehab. It wasn’t too bad in the end, but it would have been if I’d have needed an operation as it would have been a long term injury.
“I am enjoying getting back into training and will definitely be playing in the pre-season games, but I’m not sure which ones or how many yet, it depends on what Daryl (Powell) wants to do.”
Shenton says that his first pre-season under coach Powell is going well with good work being done to stand the team in good stead for the 2014 season.
He said: “We’ve got a few little injuries people are still getting over from last year, but we are all slowly coming back into training and things are sharp for us at the minute. The coaching staff have spent the off-season doing the gym up and trying to make the place as professional as they can. They’ve sorted the programmes out and everything’s been pretty good really.
“The new boys have really bought into it, they’ve been energetic and very positive. I think they’re really excited because they feel it’s not a bad place to be at the minute.
“I’m enjoying my first pre-season with Daryl in charge. He’s brought a lot of energy to the club and brought a lot of pride as well.
“It’s just about making the club feel a bit special because it is a special club is Cas. It’s just making people who have come into it who are not from around the area know how much it means to the community really.
“It has been a really successful club in the past and if we really put our minds to it and work hard with all the little things we can get back to those winning ways and make the club a real success again.”
Shenton has not been told yet if he is to continue as skipper, but he was proud to have done the job in 2013.
He added: “I enjoyed being captain. It was a really tough start to the year and captain was a tough place to be, but I stuck with it and I’ve tried to grow into the role a little bit, just to be there for the boys and be a voice in the team.
“Obviously I help the boys when they need it. Me and the other senior guys in the team have to be leaders when the boys need to be told look things aren’t good enough or we need to improve on a few things.
“That’s something we can get better as a team as players can get harder with each other and have real high expectations from each other.”