Castleford Tigers winger/full-back Ash Robson is facing up to eight months on the sidelines after suffering an horrific injury during last Friday’s final pre-season game at Bradford Bulls.
Robson, 20, made three appearances last season, scoring one try.
Tigers coach Daryl Powell said: “Ash has had a rupture of his Patella tendon [knee cap] which is obviously a really disappointing injury for him. He’s had the injury repaired, but the timescale for his return is up to eight months.”
Powell added: “It’s a long time out and obviously it’s really disappointing for Ash, he has been outstanding in pre-season, but unfortunately these things happen.
“His spirits seem to be okay at the moment and we’ll look forward now to giving him as much support as we can and getting him back training and then hopefully back on to the field as soon as possible.”
Robson, who featured in three of Tigers’ pre-season games, said: “It is obviously disappointing for me having enjoyed pre-season and more importantly the warm-up games.
“I’ll be working with Matty Crowther and his team to ensure I come back strong from this injury.
“The support from our fans on social media has been immense and big thanks go to my family and friends who’ve been helping me through the op.”
Tigers begin their First Utility Super League campaign at Hull KR on Sunday.Powell said: “The boys look in good shape, Ben Cooper and Jamie Bell have done a great job physically with the players, technically we look good and tactically we look good too.
“We have a fair bit of work to do, as you do throughout the season, you always have, but I am really pleased with where we are at.”