Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell has confirmed that it is unlikely captain Michael Shenton will feature again for the club this season.
Shenton suffered what now appears to be a season-ending knee injury during the Tigers’ opening game of 2016 against Hull Kingston Rovers, undergoing surgery way back at the start of the season.
It was initially hoped he could play again in 2016, but Tigers coach Daryl Powell told TotalRL that he sees no real need to risk the England international in the final month of their season.
“I think it’s unlikely to be honest,” he said.
“I don’t see any need to press him; he’s looked pretty good in training but with Jake (Webster) coming back into the picture now I just don’t think there’s any need to put him out there.
“I’ve spoken to Shenny and explained I don’t think there’s any need for it, and he can have a big pre-season and really tear into 2017 from the start then. He’s looked great in training to be honest but I think in four games time, when you look back, I think we’ll say that was the best decision to not bring him back too soon.
“For him and both of us I just don’t think there’s a need to do it.”
Powell did confirm that centre Jake Webster will return to give him a boost in the three-quarter line – but with this week’s game against Wakefield being brought forward 48 hours, it may come too soon for Mike McMeeken.
He said: “Mike McMeeken would be the one. Jake Webster should be back as I said so that gives us another option but Mike probably wouldn’t be available with it being a bit sooner.
“Ben Crooks got some neck and rib knocks and he was tough staying on (against Warrington), so he’ll be a doubt for this weekend and I’ve got a decision to make in the centres.”