Castleford Tigers: Sidelined captain Shenton takes on mentoring role

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INJURED CAPTAIN Michael Shenton is staying hands-on at Castleford Tigers.

Shenton will be sidelined for at least another six months after suffering an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury in opening Tigers’ First Utility Super League game, away to Hull KR, last month.

Michael Shenton

Michael Shenton

But he revealed he has been given work to do behind the scenes by coach Daryl Powell to keep his spirits up and stay involved with the team during his long fight back to fitness.

“It’s three weeks post-op now and I am feeling pretty good,” Shenton said.

“The surgery went well and the re-hab so far is going pretty well, though it’s a long journey.

“It is a minimum of six months from the operation date before the surgeons will even consider allowing you to come back and play.

“I am just making sure I am ticking all the boxes and looking after myself and staying a positive character around the place.

“I am trying to still be a leader person around all the boys and to stay involved. The club has been really good with me and Daryl has given me a bit of work with the outside-backs.

“I am doing a bit of video analysis, chopping bits up. They have taught me how to use the Opta video system, all the games go on to that.

“I am looking at different teams, looking at what our teams are doing, working with the centres and wingers.

“I have been in the game quite a while and we’ve got some young centres in Ben Crooks and Greg Minikin, so I am trying to be around the younger guys and pass on what little bits I can. Hopefully the boys will appreciate it and it helps me stay involved.”

His current informal role could be a good grounding if Shenton, 29, decides to stay in the game after his playing career.

He said: “I enjoy doing it, but it’s a different ball game being an actual coach. I’m not looking at that just yet.”

The six-month time frame could see Shenton come into contention for the final few games of the season, but he admitted it is “highly unlikely” he will feature again this year.

He played down the impact his injury has had on the team, but conceded it was tough to take personally, coming straight after an intense build-up to the new campaign.

“Pre-season was great and we were in a really good place,” he said. “Our left-edge was looking good, but it is fortunate Jake Webster has fitted in there so naturally. He is playing really well and Denny [Solomona] and Galey [Luke Gale] are looking really sharp as well so it has not been a big loss, but for me game days are tough.”