LONG-TERM casualty Richard Owen won’t be rushed back into first-team action by Castleford Tigers coach Terry Matterson.
Owen, pictured right, has not played since suffering a broken leg in an Engage Super League game at Bradford Bulls last February.
He will make his comeback when Tigers reserves visit Wigan Warriors on Sunday and Matterson is “not sure” when Owen will be pushing for a senior recall.
“He looks really good in training,” said the team boss. “He has done all the opposed stuff and looks quite comfortable doing all that.
“Knowing Richie, it won’t be long. He is a pretty determined kid, but he needs to get a few games under his belt.
“I think he’ll need at least two or three. He has got to get used to getting off the ground, going back and forth and getting tackled again.
“He is a bit behind in fitness because he has not had the off-season that the others have had, but he is an athlete, so that won’t take long.”
Of Owen’s return, Matterson said: “He is back before we envisaged and he is jumping out of his skin.
“I am really looking forward to seeing him play.”
Tigers are without a Super League game this weekend and Matterson said Steve Snitch – who was suspended last week – and Willie Isa will also play in the reserves at the Co-operative Community Stadium (1pm).
Casualties Nick Fozzard (groin), Ryan Hudson (neck) and Ryan McGoldrick (knee) have all trained this week, but are “touch and go” to be fit for the visit of Hull KR in Engage Super Leagueon Sunday, March 6.