Castleford Tigers have been rocked by news that a player has picked up a potentially serious injury on the first day back in training.
Most of the Tigers first team squad reported back for the start of pre-season training on Monday, but for scrum-half Jamie Ellis it turned into a horror story.
The 24-year-old tore his pectoral muscle in his first session back in preparation for the 2014 season and now faces an operation and a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
It is not known yet how long Ellis is likely to be out of action, but head coach Daryl Powell confirmed it was an injury that generally took some time to recover from.
He told the Express: “It was a bit of a blow on the first day back when Jamie Ellis picked up the injury on Monday.
“He is going to need a shoulder operation so we’ll try and get that done as soon as we can.
“He’s torn his pec, which is not a great injury to be honest. He did it testing on the first day back in training. It’s obviously disappointing, but these things happen.”
Powell’s said that two other players looked doubtful to be fit in time for the start of the new season, but although there were a number of others recovering from operations hopes were high that the rest of the squad would be ready for the 2014 Super League campaign.
He said: “Potentially it looks like Ryan Boyle will miss the start of the season and Ashley Gibson as well.
“Apart from that pretty much everyone else should be okay.
“Ryan’s had a knee operation and is going to be out a while. Ashley’s had a knee operation and will be out of action for a few months.
“We’ve got quite a few players in rehab at the moment who’ve had operations. But they all look like they are coming along well.
“Daryl Clark’s had a jab in his ankle and Adam Milner and Olly Holmes have had operations. Justin Carney had an operation on his shoulder, but he is back from Australia and is recovering okay.
“Lee Gilmour’s been doing a fair bit of contact in the first few days of training so he’s progressing pretty well.”
“There’s quite a few bits in there that we need to manage over the first few weeks. There’s different timescales on their injuries as to when they’re going to come back, but certainly the medical department are working hard to progress people as quickly as they can.”
Several players have been given an extra week off as they recover from their injuries and Powell is hopeful they will be back in full training soon.
He added: “Michael Shenton is not back in until Monday, but he’s progressing really well. He’s not too far from getting into full training.
“Jake Webster and Grant Millington are also back in on Monday and we’ll have a good look at them, but hopefully both should not be too far away from getting back to full training as well.”