Castleford Tigers scrum-half Luke Gale could be facing the prospect of his season being over after undergoing an appendix operation on Tuesday.
The Tigers confirmed that their star half-back, who last week won the Albert Goldthorpe Medal for the third successive year, was operated on after beginning to experience pain on Monday evening.
The timeframe for Gale’s recovery is unclear, but just a fortnight to go until a play-off semi-final for the Tigers, his participation in the play-offs now appears to be in serious doubt.
Speaking before his operation, Gale said: “I’m absolutely gutted to be facing surgery at this point in the season. This is a freak situation that could happen to anyone at any time and it’s just really unfortunate for me that it has happened to me now at such a crucial point in the season. Rest assured I’ll be doing all I can to aid my recovery with an aim to getting back on the pitch as soon as possible. In the meantime I’ll be 100% behind my teammates in our quest for the Grand Final to top off what has already been a fantastic year.”
However, Tigers head coach Daryl Powell admitted they haven’t completely ruled him out of a dramatic return in time for the business end of the season.
He said: “Luke has had surgery relating to his appendix this afternoon which will keep him out of immediate action on the field. We are hoping for a speedy recovery back to the field before the end of the season.”
Gale himself tweeted after his operation on Tuesday night:
Surgery went well… A few days rest and hopefully back to join the boys in no time! Thanks for all the messages I appreciate the love 🙌🏼
— Luke Gale (@snozzer_gale) September 12, 2017