Feki faces long road to recovery

Castleford Tigers have given no indication that they are considering releasing their injured winger Sosaia Feki early from his contract after the former Cronulla star suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in training last week.

The injury is likely to keep Feki out for all or most of this season.

It is the third injury blow he has suffered since joining the Tigers on a three-year contract from the Sharks before the start of the 2020 season.

Prior to the start of last season he ruptured a calf muscle, which kept him out of all Castleford’s matches prior to the March lockdown, and when he returned he played one game in the Challenge Cup against Hull FC in September and he suffered a knee injury that kept him out for the rest of the season.

On Thursday Castleford issued a statement revealing the latest setback in Feki’s career.

“Castleford Tigers regrettably announce that Sosaia Feki has suffered an injury during the 2021 pre-season,” it said.

“Feki had been training with the Tigers getting ready for the 2021 Betfred Super League campaign when he ruptured his Achilles tendon.

“We will provide a further update in due course.”

The standard RFL playing contract does allow a club to terminate the contract of a player who is likely to be out of action for six months or more, but the Tigers have given no indication that the club would wish to go down this route with Feki, although their coaching staff will have to assess the implications of losing him and its impact on their ability to compete on the field.

One of the Tigers’ other wingers, James Clare is currently recovering from a close-season knee operation, leaving coach Daryl Powell with just two recognised wingers – Derrell Olpherts and Greg Eden – going into the new season.

Meanwhile former Castleford captain Luke Gale, who suffered a similar injury while at the club two years ago, has sent a message to Feki to keep his spirits up, assuring him that Tigers physio will ensure he gets the best possible rehabilitation.

“Obviously, I’ve done it and Matty rehabbed me back to fitness,” Gale told the Yorkshire Post.

“I asked him to pass on that it is a tough injury and tough coming back from but he’s in good hands there with Matty.”

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