Castleford skipper Michael Shenton is raring to go after last season’s injury nightmare.
Shenton missed the entire 2016 campaign after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in Castleford’s opening game at Hull KR nine months ago.
Surgery and rehabilitation went well and the 30-year-old former England man is set to make his playing comeback during Tigers’ pre-season games.
His return will be a huge boost for Tigers and an opportunity for the player to put a year’s worth of frustration behind him.
“Last year was the first time I’d had a full pre-season for a while,” he said.
“I was in great condition and it was probably one of the best pre-seasons I’ve had.
“I felt great, I was going into it confident, I had set my goals and I was ready to go, then what happened was very frustrating and mentally taxing.
“There was nothing I could do, because it just takes time. There was nothing I could do to speed it up, just do my re-hab, so it was a challenging time for me.”
Tigers coach Daryl Powell kept Shenton involved with a role on the coaching side and the captain reckons the way Cas handled adversity last year points to an exciting campaign in 2017.
“We had about 10 out minimum every game and when we played Catalans at the end we had 13 missing,” he added.
“I have never seen anything like it for a team, but the boys didn’t whinge about the circumstances, they just got on with it.
“Finishing fifth after what happened was a pretty special achievement and being able to do that with so many people missing should really stand us in good stead.”