Powell is left waiting on his injured Tigers

CASTLEFORD TIGERS' injury crisis is not easing as quickly as coach Daryl Powell had hoped for.

Tigers begin their First Utility Super-8s campaign away to league leaders Hull FC on Friday and Powell expects to again be without a host of key players.

Powell’s side had no fixture last weekend and he said: “We came out of the Wakefield game okay and we’ll see how we roll through the week.

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“I’m not sure who we are going to get back yet. We will have a look at training (today) and see where we are, but it is not easing too much at the moment.”

One player definitely unavailable this week is young half-back Tom Holmes, who was among the try scorers against Wakefield nine days ago.

“He’s had an operation on a shoulder, which is something he has needed for a while,” Powell said.

“He won’t play again this season.

“We want to give him the best opportunity to have a pre-season, which is going to be beneficial to him.

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“It was good for him to play against Wakefield and get his try and he played pretty well, but he needed the operation.”

Friday’s game will be Hull’s first since their Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final win over Wigan Warriors a week earlier.

Powell said: “From an injury perspective the weekend off hasn’t done us too much good, but the guys have had chance to freshen up.

“The Challenge Cup can rattle you a bit energy-wise, but having said that, Hull have been pretty fortunate with injuries and they’ve been able to rotate their squad a bit, which has been tough for us.

“We are looking forward to it, it will be a good challenge.”