Long serving Castleford Tigers pack man Nathan Massey is looking forward to getting back to his best form in 2017 after finally getting over a long standing injury.
Massey missed the end of the 2016 season after undergoing surgery on a hand injury, but is hoping to be back in full training by the end of the year and aiming to be ready for the start of the next Super League campaign.
The 27-year-old forward, who has spent his entire career with the Tigers, is confident the surgery will sort him out after he has been struggling for a year with a broken bone at the base of a thumb.
He said: “Last year I broke my scaphoid. I had a screw put in it to try and unite it together.
“I went back to the specialist at the start of the year, but it was still broken.
“It hadn’t worked and the screw was hanging out. I played through the year with it like that.
“At the end of the year, as soon as we were safe in the Super 8s, Daryl (coach Daryl Powell) made the decision to get it fixed so I could have a good pre-season.
“I ended up having the scaphoid taken out and a metal plate put in and a partial fusion of four of the other bones.
“Hopefully this time it works.
“I will be in a better position than last year. I will be able to do a lot more ball work and stuff like that.
“Around Christmas time is when I’ll start contact work.
“I am looking to get a good pre-season under my belt. Hopefully I can start off well.
“Next year is going to be big for us. We will have a decent, strong squad.”
Massey revealed how he was playing through the pain barrier as he missed only two of Tigers’ opening 22 games this year.
He added: “It’s just been one of those things. Unfortunately it just didn’t heal at the start of the year.
“I was trying to do my best, playing with pain-killing injections.
“They don’t always work so it was a bit of a struggle, but hopefully it is sorted now and I’ll have no more problems with it.”