LUCKLESS FORWARD Joe Wardle is facing another spell on the sidelines, but the Castleford Tigers man’s latest injury is not as bad as first feared.
The former Bradford Bulls, Huddersfield Giants and Newcastle Knights centre/second-rower needed hospital treatment after damaging an ankle during last Friday’s 24-6 win at Salford Red Devils.
That was only Wardle’s 10th appearance of an injury-ravaged season, but boss Daryl Powell is confident he is not facing a long-term layoff.
“It’s not as bad as we first thought, from the scans,” Powell revealed. “He will be out a few weeks, but hopefully not much more than that.”
Bad luck has dogged Wardle during his first season with Tigers, but Powell added: “Hopefully that’s going to change as we move forward.
“It has been a tough year for him, but hopefully that will pass.”
Wardle has already been ruled out of Friday’s visit of Huddersfield, but Powell confirmed Cas came through last week’s game with no other new injury concerns.
“It wasn’t our best,” he said of Tigers’ performance at Salford. “We made too many errors in the first half and allowed Salford to control field position.
“In the second half we flipped it and we were really good. It was pleasing we were able to do that, but we’re mindful we won’t be able to do that this week.”
Giants need one win from their final two games to secure a place in the Super-8s.
“They are playing well,” Powell warned.
“They have won a high number of games over the last eight or nine weeks and [coach] Simon Woolford has brought some energy back to them.
“They are getting stuck into games, they’re well-structured and they’re defending well.
“I don’t think we can be anything other than at our best.”
Powell insisted Tigers also have lots to play for. He said: “We’re only one point behind [second-placed] Wigan.
“We play Huddersfield and then Widnes and if we win both those we will put ourselves in a fantastic position at the end of the regular season.”