Castleford Tigers boss vows to roll with the punches as bad injury news keeps coming

Lee Radford has vowed to keep fighting despite receiving “another uppercut” last week with the news that Niall Evalds is almost certainly out for the rest of the season.

The fullback suffered a shoulder injury in the act of scoring a try in Castleford’s recent win over Warrington Wolves.

It caps a year to forget for Evalds, the Lance Todd Trophy winner in the 2021 Challenge Cup final, with a succession of injuries limiting him to only ten appearances.

And it is also just the latest blow for Castleford, who have already lost fellow spine players Ryan Hampshire and Jake Trueman for the rest of the season with knee injuries.

They will also be without Gareth O’Brien for this Friday’s derby clash with Wakefield Trinity, after both he and backrower Alex Mellor failed head-injury assessments in last Friday’s win at Hull FC.

“I can’t see him being available between now and the end of the season,” Radford said of Evalds. 

“He’d be an absolute push for the play-offs but his season looks pretty done.

“He’s obviously a really big player for us. The try that he scored (in suffering the injury) probably epitomises his game. It’s disappointing for us.

“It’s just another uppercut, after the one a week prior with Truey and the one two weeks prior with Rocky (Hampshire). They seem to be coming thick and fast.

“It’s been repetitive, telling people to keep their chins up once their season is finished.”

Liam Watts will return from suspension against Wakefield, but the only injury return on the horizon is Jordan Turner.

The centre has been out since April with a shoulder injury but could return in the next few weeks to assist the Tigers’ play-off push.

Meanwhile, Jason Qareqare and Cain Robb have been allowed to join Championship side Whitehaven on loan for the remainder of the season.

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