Castleford Tigers head physiotherapist Matt Crowther has given fans an update on where sidelined players are currently at with their injuries and has described this season as “unbelievable” for the number of stars on the treatment table.
Crowther has had to deal with a never ending injury list in 2019 and reckons it has been one of the worst years he has known at the club.
He said: “I thought 2016 was a bad year for injuries, but this season has smashed it out of the water, just the unfortunate collision injuries and things that are just way out of your own power have been unbelievable.
“Not just short-term but long-term stuff and obviously having senior and influential players that we’ve had out for periods of time has been unbelievable.
“From the medical perspective and how many people we’ve had missing I think it’s great we’re still in the play-offs mix.”
Of the players currently sidelined Crowther is hoping Liam Watts and Greg Eden will both be back in action soon, but prospects are not so good for Michael Shenton, Junior Moors, Luke Gale, Alex Foster and Chris Clarkson.
Crowther explained: “Liam injured both his ankle and his finger in the same game at Hull KR. He ruptured the middle tendon of his ring finger and what that means is if you don’t get anything done with it you could end up with an ‘S’ shaped finger so we took the advice of one of the best hand surgeons in the country and he gave the advice that he needed to be in a full splint for four weeks, resting that and just being able to move the end of his finger.
“This will make a full recovery but he can actually play in a splint after four weeks. As for his ankle he had injured both his lateral ligaments and they’ll be about two to three weeks, so coming up to the St Helens game he should be fully fit.
“Greg (Eden) has picked up a foot joint issue which is always hard to get with that many little ligaments in there. Scan results have shown some soft tissue damage and he was in a boot for a few days which he’s out of now and he’s doing some rehab stuff so hopefully we’ll see him back on the field within the next week.”
On the players less likely to return this season, Crowther added: “Chris (Clarkson) suffered a low grade hamstring tear and we expect him to be out for the usual four to six weeks, but, we’ll see how our play-off hopes go and hope to get him back for any of those games.
“Good news about Michael (Shenton) long-term, he’s got his boot off this week and has been doing some pool rehab.
“Unfortunately, he suffered a reaction to his tightrope which was in his syndesmosis repair and ended up with a fracture there in his leg. He’s one of the real unfortunate ones, a very low percentage that this happens to. He’ll have to do some rehab and it’s unlikely he’ll be ready for the next month.
“I would never write Michael Shenton off, though, he rehabs really well and he’s a tough player so we’ll see if he could be back in time for our play-off hopes.
“Junior (Moors) suffered quite a serious impact injury to his hip where his hip dislocated and fractured his acetabulum at the back pulling off a big chunk of bone, so he’s had that fixed back on. He’s been non-weightbearing and only allowed to lay in a bed and stand up, so he hasn’t been able to sit up for six weeks, which has been a real ask for Junior with his size.
“I visit him most days doing some home physiotherapy and he’s back on his feet now, brace removed and he’s up to 50% weightbearing building up to full in the next three weeks. He should be walking about within the next month and then we can start some real rehab with him.
“Fozzy suffered a patellofemoral problem which means in layman’s terms it’s behind your kneecap, he had cracked that and had a big of a chunk of cartilage that had come away from that. Again a real unfortunate injury. He’s had that trimmed and a repair of one of his ligaments around that kneecap which is about a nine month injury. However, his rehab is going really well and he’s ahead of schedule if I’m honest, but he’ll be joining up with the team somewhere around the back end of pre-season and hopefully fit for the start of the year.
“Luke Gale’s injury was a nine months to a year sort of injury. People forget that he’d not just ruptured his Achilles tendon but he had a patellofemoral joint issue as well. It’s a double whammy for Luke but he’s doing really well with his rehab at the minute, it’s seven and a half months down the line and he’s sprinting nearly at 90%.
“He’s not a million miles off but what needs to happen with Luke is once he’s back in training he needs a couple of months of full training and doing the normal thing which he’s not done for at least 14 months.
“He’ll definitely not be back for this year. A full pre-season will be perfect for him.”