Sidelined Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton admits he is finding it tough on match days having to sit and watch his team-mates do battle in the Super League, but is pleased that he has still found a way to be involved despite being likely to miss the whole of the season.
The England international remains an influential figure at the club although he will be out of action for what looks like being at least another six months after suffering an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury in the opening game of the season at Hull KR.
Shenton faces a long fight back to fitness, but is helping head coach Daryl Powell with some behind the scenes work to keep himself occupied in the meantime.
He said: “I am trying to still be a leader person around all the boys and to stay involved.
“The club has been really good with me and Daryl has given me a bit of work with the outside-backs.
“I am doing a bit of video analysis, chopping bits up. They have taught me how to use the Opta video system, all the games go on to that.
“I am looking at different teams, looking at what our teams are doing, working with the centres and wingers.
“I have been in the game quite a while and we’ve got some young centres in Ben Crooks and Greg Minikin, so I am trying to be around the younger guys and pass on what little bits I can. Hopefully the boys will appreciate it and it helps me stay involved.
“I enjoy doing it, but it’s a different ball game being an actual coach. I’m not looking at that just yet.”
With two other quality centres at the club Shenton believes the Tigers are coping without him, but he still feels disappointment at not being able to get out there after looking forward so much to the 2016 season.
He said: “Pre-season was great and we were in a really good place.
“Our left-edge was looking good, but it is fortunate Jake Webster has fitted in there so naturally. He is playing really well and Denny (Solomona) and Galey (Luke Gale) are looking really sharp as well so it has not been a big loss, but for me game days are tough.”
Having now undergone the surgery on his knee Shenton has begun the necessary rehab work and he revealed all has gone well so far.
He added: “It’s three weeks post-op now and I am feeling pretty good.
“The surgery went well and the rehab so far is going pretty well, though it’s a long journey.
“It is a minimum of six months from the operation date before the surgeons will even consider allowing you to come back and play.
“I am just making sure I am ticking all the boxes and looking after myself and staying a positive character around the place.”