HALF-BACK JAMIE Ellis has begun training with Castleford Tigers for the first time this year, but forward Alex Foster’s season is almost certainly over.
Ellis has not played a competitive game in 2019 after suffering a freak knee injury in pre-season, but Tigers assistant-coach Ryan Sheridan confirmed he could be back on the field later this month.
“He is back in training now so I’d imagine he will be a couple of weeks off,” Sheridan said of the goal-kicking play-maker.
“He needs to get his fitness up there and whatnot and make sure he’s ready for a game. He damaged his knee in the warm-up for one of our pre-season games which was a bit of a blow.
“He is an experienced half and it will be good to have him back in the mix.”
But Foster, who can play at centre or in the pack, is set to undergo a knee operation and is not expected to play again this year.
“That is a massive blow,” Sheridan admitted. “You miss somebody like Fozzy, he is one of those players who comes in and does all the graft and the hard work that nobody really sees.
“We have missed him when the chips are down so it’s a blow for us and for him, as a young fella.
“He’s had a couple of injuries leading up to that so it will be frustrating for him. We have to make sure we do the right thing by him and he is all right mentally, which is the biggest thing with injuries.”
Jesse Sene-Lefao remains in Australia on compassionate leave and Sheridan said he will be unavailable for Friday’s visit of Huddersfield Giants, but could return against Hull six days later.
Oliver Holmes and Junior Moors are back in training and Sheridan added: “It will help when we get those boys back. There’s a fair bit of pressure on the senior guys who are in there, playing week-in and week-out and playing big minutes.
“Plus, you need to start putting pressure on players to perform well and get to a standard that’s acceptable for us as a team and a club. Hopefully we will get some players back and that will put pressure on other players and raise the standard again and freshen us up a bit.”