Centre Ben Crooks and back rower Frankie Mariano have added to Castleford Tigers’ lengthy injury list, which now sees nine players out of action for the rest of the season.
Crooks has neck and rib injuries with the club not knowing the extent of them yet, but Mariano has definitely been ruled out for the rest of the campaign after damaging his ribs in last week’s game against Warrington.
He joins Joel Monaghan, Ben Roberts, Andy Lynch, Nathan Massey, Lee Jewitt, Jy Hitchcox, Ash Robson and Tom Holmes who have already been ruled out for the rest of 2017.
Cas have 13 first team players on the sidelines, but head coach Daryl Powell is hoping three who have not played for some time will be back before the end of the season with Michael Shenton, Jake Webster and Mike McMeeken all recovering well from their injuries.
In an injury update to fans, Powell went through each of his players’ injuries.
He said: “Joel Monaghan is out for the season following his shoulder operation. He’s on a recovery protocol that will hopefully see him come good for pre-season but yeah, he’ll be missing for the rest of this season.
“Benny Roberts is out for the year but he has just had the boot taken off so he’s starting to walk around on his foot which is great for him, it’s not great having a boot on! He’s looking forward now to pre season training.
“Andy Lynch had an operation on his hand on Monday. He’s in recovery now, it’s been something that’s been ongoing for him.
“His leg hasn’t healed as quickly as we though it might do so we made the decision for him to have the operation on his hand now, but he will now be out for the rest of the season.
“Nathan Massey is out for the season, he had an operation on his hand and had his scaphoid taken out and he’s on a recovery programme now.
“Lee Jewitt is out for the season and it’s a tough one for him. He injured his knee against Wigan and he’ll be in a brace for at least six weeks. Obviously he is going to Australia at the end of the season so he’s played his last game for us.
“Frankie Mariano has gone for the season too, we think he might have broken ribs and damaged rib cartilage (during the Warrington match on Saturday) and that’s really painful. He needs further checks but he won’t play again this year.
“Crooksy has a couple of bits and pieces following the Warrington game too, he’s got a neck problem and a rib problem so he’s in a bit of pain at the moment, so we’ll see how he goes through next week.
“Jy Hitchcox is out for the season, he’s got a problem with his knee and he’s got a scan due in about four weeks to see where he is at. It’s unlikely he’ll play again this year.
“Another who is out for the year, Ash Robson is still recovering from his patellar tendon injury but he is back in training and he’s looking good, again he’ll be building up now and looking forward to getting a good pre-season in.”
“Tom Holmes as had his shoulder operation. He waited for a while to have the op done, he was really toughing it out, but we thought for him physically we needed to give him the best possible chance and that was by having some time to recover and get a full pre-season in.”
On those back in training after injuries, Powell added: “Jake Webster is nearing fitness again, he’s had a couple of training sessions now and he is building up and getting better by the day so we’ll check on him next week to see if he is available for the Wakefield game, I am hopeful that he will be.
“We are just taking it week by week with Shenny now, he is building up his training and starting to do contact work.
“Really it’s just a fluid situation with him but we’ll wait and see if and when he is right to play. Obviously we need to make sure he goes through all the things that he needs to and we’ll make a decision down the track.
“Mike McMeeken is similar to Jake, he’s close to playing and we just need to see how he goes over the coming week and then we’ll make a decision on whether he’ll play against Wakefield.”
Super 8s action returns to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday, September 4 when Castleford take on local rivals Wakefield Wildcats. Tickets are available now from the Tigers website or from the Tigers Den in Carlton Lanes.