Castleford hopeful Luke Gale will return from injury the week after Challenge Cup final

Castleford scrum-half and reigning Man of Steel Luke Gale is closing on a return from injury – but it will not be for another couple of weeks yet.

Gale has been absent since April after suffering a fractured kneecap, and initial prognosis had him returning for the start of the Super 8s, which begins for Castleford this Friday night at Wigan.

However, Tigers coach Daryl Powell has admitted Gale will not be fit for that game – but Castleford fans will not have to wait too long to see their star man back in action.

He said of Gale’s recovery: “We’ve got Warrington next week, he won’t be available for that, then it’s the Challenge Cup final weekend and then potentially  the week after that.

“There may be a couple of others coming back around that time as well.”

Castleford have mixed news on the injury front for this weekend; recent new signing Peter Mata’utia will miss out due to injury – but Joe Wardle is clear to return.

“Joe Wardle potentially comes back this week, but Peter Mata’utia has got a bit of an injury, a bit of a hamstring strain which he got in the last game.

“It’s a bit of a blow that one, but it is what it is. Hopefully he will be ready for next week. We will crack on with what we’ve got.”