Castleford Tigers: Massey’s pre-season undermined by knee injury

Nathan Massey
Nathan Massey
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CASTLEFORD TIGERS forward Nathan Massey expects to learn today if he will miss the start of pre-season due to the knee injury he suffered in last Thursday’s play-offs defeat by Warrington Wolves.

Massey, who was hurt early in the game and took no further part, revealed: “I think it’s my mcl (medial collateral ligament).

“Hopefully it’s just a grade two and it’ll be six to eight weeks. We’ll probably find out more on Monday. I’ll have a scan and then see where we’re at.”

The injury meant Massey’s season ended on the Tigers bench, rather than out in the thick of the action, but he insisted the loss to Warrington should not detract from the progress the team have made this year.

“We were gutted with the loss,” he said. “Fair play to Warrington, they’ve been really good this year. So have we, but they got the win on the day.

“But looking at our season, from where we were last year to where we are now, I think it’s a great achievement for the team.

“It has been a great year for the team and the club and the community. Obviously we have given ouselves a real boost now and put ourselves back on the map.

“Finishing above some top clubs like Leeds and reaching the Challenge Cup final was great. But we have got to learn from these experiences and kick on for next year.

“It has been a first experience for nearly all the team, playing in these big games. Obviously we haven’t really handled it too well, but it is a learning curve and hopefully come next year we will be better for it.”

Tigers came up short in their four biggest games of the year: the Challenge Cup decider, final fixture of the regular season at Catalan Dragons – when a win would have secured the league leaders’ shield – and both their play-offs ties.

“We just weren’t there (on Thursday) and we haven’t been for a couple of weeks,” Massey reflected. “It is pretty disappointing, but it is all experience and we’ll be better for it.

“Maybe Wembley took more out of us than we thought. You just have to look at how it affected Leeds and what happened to them.

“But we’re not using that as an excuse. We are better than that and we know we are, so we are pretty disappointed.

“But we got to the final and we were one game off being league leaders, so it has been a great year.”

On a personal note, Massey said: “The last two years have been good.

“This year I had an horrendous start, being injured all the time, but I got back into the team, played in the Challenge Cup final and hit a bit of form.

“I was happy with that. The last couple of weeks I maybe dropped off a bit and then I got injured (on Thursday), but that’s part and parcel of the game.

“I’ll get a bit of rest time now and hopefully I’ll be back next year, firing on all cylinders.”

Lois Forsell. PIC: Leeds Rhinos RLFC

Women’s RL: Leeds Rhinos 40 Castleford Tigers 12