Castleford Tigers are hoping for a boost with the return to action of several players in time for this Sunday’s game with surprise Super League strugglers Huddersfield Giants.
The Tigers took to the field without 10 first team squad members when they played Catalans Dragons and then lost another to injury during the game when Denny Solomona had to sit out the whole of the second half with a strapping on his knee.
In the circumstances it was no surprise they were beaten by the French side and although head coach Daryl Powell was proud of the performance put up by his patched up side he will be glad to have troops back for this weekend’s game at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Forward Matt Cook definitely returns after serving his two-match suspension while the club is hoping for better news on the injury front with half-back Ben Roberts, prop Lee Jewitt and back rower Frankie Mariano.
The extent of Solomona’s injury is still not certain while strong running young forward Gadwin Springer, impressing before picking up a groin injury against Leeds Rhinos, is not as bad as first feared, but is unlikely to play this Sunday.
Key players Luke Dorn, Michael Shenton, Junior Moors and Oliver Holmes remain out so the Tigers will still be well short of full strength, but Cas boss Powell is hoping for some more positive news this week.
He told the Express: “There’s no guarantees at the moment, but potentially we are hoping to have a few back.
“Obviously Cooky will be back then we’ll get checks on Lee Jewitt, Frankie Mariano and Ben Roberts and see where they are.
“We were down to our last 18 or 19 for the game against Catalans, but we’re hopeful we’ll get some people back this week.”
On the players who picked up injuries in the Easter games, Powell explained: “Gadwin Springer is not as bad as we thought. It’s a grade one groin injury and not that severe so hopefully he will not be out too long. It’s a real pity because I thought he was starting to perform well.
“Denny is sore, he hyper extended his knee, which meant he couldn’t go back on against Catalans.
“He will need a scan and we will get a check on him to see how he is moving forward.
“I think he’s done some good things playing at full-back.
“Obviously he’s a real threat when he’s running with the ball.
“We’ve spoken to him about being a little bit fitter because it demands a fair bit from you in the full-back position.
“He’s played there a little bit before, but it’s about consistency of being there and managing the defensive line, which is a big job of a full-back, and then being able to get where you need to get on the end of a tackle play is a difficult job.
“He’ll be learning all the time with that, but he’s certainly had a positive start.”