CASTLEFORD coach Ian Millward has revealed that forwards Craig Huby (pictured) and Brett Ferres are likely to miss the start of the Super League season after undergoing surgery.
Prop Huby - Castleford’s longest serving player - has not played since fracturing his patella in the game at St Helens on Easter Monday.
It cost the fans favourite a possible place in the England squad after he started the 2011 season in top form and he was a big miss for Cas, who only lost three of their first 11 games with their big number ten in the side.
Back row forward Ferres missed the last month of the season with a shoulder injury picked up in the Challenge Cup semi-final, but although that has just about cleared up now he also picked up knee damage, which requires attention ahead of next season.
“Craig Huby is going in for an operation this week to have the steel plate out of his knee and Brett Ferres has to have an operation on his knee,” Millward told the Express.
“They’ve got to be done and hopefully this is the right time.
“Craig won’t be available for our first Super League game. He might not be available until early March. But we’re hopeful Brett will only miss one or two at the most.”
Castleford have several other players on the treatment table, but progress is being made.
Millward said: “Everyone that’s carried injuries over from the end of last season is making progress.
“But we’ve had too many players that have needed surgery or treatment to rectify some deficiencies in their make-up.
“We’ve got to be patient with it, we’ve got to correct it and long term we’ll be fine, it just takes a little bit away from the work we need to do with them on the field.
“We need to make sure that their bodies are ready to take with the demands of next season.
“We’ve had a lot of players with knee injuries, but Jonny Walker and Jake Emmitt are making progress after theirs. Kirk Dixon’s making great progress with his shoulder and I’ve been really impressed with his attitude.
“A lot of the injuries are not quick fix injuries. They’re time consuming and players are out of the game for a while.”
Millward is pleased with the way training has gone so far.
He added: “I’ve been impressed with everyone’s attitude.
“I’d like more players to be training with us. Our injury list is nearly as long as our playing list, but we understand we’ve just got to be patient.”