THREE players have been earmarked to return to the Castleford Tigers first team with another three in a race against time to be fit for their vital Super League clash at Wakefield Wildcats on Saturday.
Forwards Ryan Hudson and Steve Snitch are both fit again, back in training and raring to go against their former club while mercurial stand-off Rangi Chase returns after his journey to Australia for a court case last week.
Prop Paul Jackson missed last Friday’s trip to Leeds and is doubtful again, but coach Terry Matterson has not given up hope that his man of the match contender in the Challenge Cup semi-final could recover in time to play against the Wildcats.
The coach will also continue to monitor another of the props, Nick Fozzard, and full-back Richard Mathers as they look for a chance to return to action after missing out in recent weeks.
But there will be no return for Kirk Dixon and Brett Ferres this season as the scans for their shoulder injuries confirmed that they would join props Craig Huby, Jonathan Walker and Jake Emmitt on the sidelines for the remainder of 2011.
“It will be good to have Ryan Hudson back and Steve Snitch is also back in the mix. They will give us some experience in the forwards,” said Matterson.
“And Rangi Chase arrived back on Monday and he’s itching to get playing again. Obviously he was disappointed when he saw the scoreline.
“It will be good to have his spark and enthusiasm back and it will give the boys a big lift.
“But they need to be careful, they can’t expect Rangi to do it all by himself. It’s a team game and we’ve got to load the platform for him.
“With Richard Mathers and Nick Fozzard we’ll allow as much time as possible. They got little nigglers that are taking a while to come along, but they could have a chance.”
Tigers forward Stuart Jones has been cleared to play on Saturday.
At Tuesday night’s RL disciplinary hearing, Jones was found not guilty of dangerous play during Friday’s defeat at Leeds Rhinos.