NEW SIGNING Peter Mata’utia is set to miss Castleford Tigers’ crunch trip to Wigan Warriors on Friday.
Mata’utia made his Tigers debut in their Betfred Super League finale at Widnes Vikings last month, after joining from Leigh Centurions, but is on the casualty list this week.
There is better news about Joe Wardle, who could feature at Wigan and Tigers coach Daryl Powell is hopeful other injury victims – including England half-back Luke Gale – will be back in action at the start of September.
Friday’s opening Super-8s fixtures sees second play third on the table and Powell said Tigers will be taking a strong side to DW Stadium.
“We’re okay,” he said.
“Joe Wardle [who has missed two games due to a ankle damage] potentially comes back this week, but Peter Mata’utia has got a bit of an injury, a bit of a hamstring strain which he got in the last game.
“It’s a bit of a blow that one, but it is what it is.
“Hopefully he will be ready for next week.
“We will crack on with what we’ve got.
“We’ll have a good 17 and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Gale, the reigning Man of Steel, has not played since suffering a fractured kneecap against Wakefield Trinity in April.
He underwent surgery, but has recovered well and Powell said “Luke is hopefully a couple of weeks away.
“We’ve got Warrington next week, he won’t be available for that, then it’s the Challenge Cup final weekend and then potentially [he could be available] the week after that.
“There may be a couple of others coming back around that time as well.”
Tigers’ players had most of last week off, but were back at work on Sunday and Powell said: “It’s been good to freshen the boys up – a reward for a lot of hard work.
“It has been tough for a lot of players. There’s been a lot of pressure put on certain players because of the injuries and they’ve stood up really well.
“They look fresh and we’ve trained really hard. We’ve had a couple of great sessions and we had a focus meeting the other day which went pretty well so we’re ready to go.”