Castleford Tigers winger Kirk Dixon says he has “no hard feelings” about the tackle which broke his jaw.
Dixon has not played since suffering the injury early in Tigers’ last-gasp win over Wigan Warriors on March 9, but is hoping to be available for the Tetley’s Challenge Cup fifth round visit of Sheffield Eagles later this month.
Wigan’s Leeds-born hooker Michael McIlorum was banned for three games for the tackle on Dixon, after opting not to take an early guilty plea.
Dixon said: “There’s no hard feelings. It is a contact sport and you pick up these injuries.
“Unfortunately I seem to get a fair share of them, but it is just one of those things.
“I don’t think it was malicious, he just caught me and he caught me on the jaw.
“I am not the first player to get a broken jaw and I probably won’t be the last.”
Dixon revealed he is now well down the road to recovery and targeting the Cup tie on April 27 for his comeback.
“It’s all right, it’s more frustrating than anything,” he said.
“I am able to do pretty much everything training-wise, but at the moment getting a knock on the jaw is a no-no.
“As a precaution we are giving it an extra week, to be sure. Easter is a tough period and you don’t want to pick up any injuries, but hopefully I will be back available for the Sheffield game, if selected.
“I have go to get back in the team first and they are playing well at the moment, so that won’t be easy.”
Dixon underwent surgery, but has been able to maintain his fitness and is confident he will come back in good shape.
“I had a plate and some screws put in,” he said. “It was a bit painful for the first couple of weeks and trying to eat was difficult.
“But I am back to eating a normal diet now. Probably in the first week I lost a bit of weight, because it was all blended food and a liquid diet.
“But I have put it all back on and maybe a bit more, because I’ve been able to do weights. The coaching staff have been great.
“Ben Cooper [Tigers’ conditioner] has given me a programme to keep me on top of it, because losing fitness and weight was a worry.”
Dixon admitted he has had mixed feeling watching Tigers’ matches during his lay-off.
Last Friday’s 30-28 loss at home to St Helens was only Tigers’ second defeat of the year and they are third in the First Utility Super League table with eight games gone.
“It is easier when the team are winning,” said Dixon. “But at the same time you are a bit envious, because you want to be out there yourself.
“The boys are going great and we’ve had a fantastic start to the season. There was a bit of a hic-up on Friday and we’ve had a bit of a dressing down, but hopefully we can right the wrongs against Wakefield this week.”
Tigers will be expected to get back to winning ways in the Good Friday derby, against hosts who have conceded 146 points and scored only 18 in their last three matches, but Dixon warned: “It is a local derby and there are bragging rights at stake.
“They are a good side and it is not going to be easy. It is another tough game for us, but one we have got to win to get back on the horse.”
Luke Dorn suffered a hamstring injury in the defeat by Saints, but Dixon and long-term casualty Lee Gilmour (knee) are the only other players on Tigers’ casualty list ahead of the trip to Rapid Solicitors Stadium.