Castleford have not ruled Luke Gale out of an appearance in this year’s play-off semi-finals – with Tigers coach Daryl Powell revealing the scrum-half will be given the definitive say on whether he has recovered from appendix surgery to feature in a fortnight’s time.
Gale will not feature in either of the Tigers’ final two Super 8s games but despite initial fears his season was over, Powell revealed at his pre-match press conference on Thursday that they have not yet completely discounted him for the play-offs.
However, the Tigers will listen to advice from the player himself, as well as doctors, before allowing Gale to declare whether he is fit for a home semi-final in two weeks.
Powell said: “We’ll collect the evidence but ultimately it will be down to him. It’s his body and he knows how he feels and whether he can do it. We need to piece everything together and see how it goes, don’t we.”
However, Powell did reveal that while the surgery had gone as well as inspected – with Gale undergoing keyhole surgery as opposed to a more intrusive option – they will face a nervous waiting game over the next fortnight to see if their star half-back pulls through sufficiently enough to play.
“I haven’t seen him, he’s got his feet up at home recovering,” Powell said.
“I’m not sure really, but I know its keyhole surgery, which is the best outcome – if they’d have had to open him up he’d have been done. I’m not sure how he’ll roll through the next couple of weeks, we’ll just have to keep assessing him.
“He’s coming in to watch the boys train this Saturday and we’ll have a chat with him then see where it goes from there. It’s going to be up in the air right until just before the game (the semi-final), I’d say. It’s a tough one as we’ve got to get a fair bit of evidence gathered and then see how he goes over the next couple of weeks.
“The operation has gone as well as it could have done; the feedback has been really positive and that it’s been the least intrusive it could have been, but it’s still an operation, isn’t it. The abdominal wall is the main thing.”