Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton back after fearing his season was over

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell is delighted to see Michael Shenton back ready for action - just four weeks after the club’s captain fractured his cheekbone.

There was a fear that the 35-year-old centre - who is out of contract at the end of the season and yet to publicly announce his plans for 2022 - would miss the rest of the campaign after suffering the injury against Huddersfield Giants.

Although long-serving Shenton is not in the squad for tomorrow’s game at Hull FC, Powell has revealed he will be back for Monday’s visit of Wigan Warriors as in-form Castleford continue their late push for a play-offs spot.

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“That was his big fear when he did it,” said Powell.

“Initially, we were a little bit concerned that it might be the season.

“It was a sickening clash and his eye was full of blood for a couple of weeks.

“Those are tough and (knowing he could be finished) that’s difficult to take.

“But he’s got himself back. You always know with Shenny that he is one of the most durable players that I’ve seen.

Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

“If there’s any chance of someone coming back, he’s going to be one of those who can do it.

“It’ll be awesome to see him back out there again.

“He could potentially have played in this game but we felt it best to heed the specialist’s advice and he will be available for Monday which is great news.”

Castleford have won their last three games but will welcome the return of the former England international’s leadership quality in a busy and crucial final few weeks of the season.

“He’s been great (already),” said Powell.

“(Assistant coach) Ryan Sheridan had an issue with Covid and he hasn’t been able to run on the field but Shenny has been available for that.

“He put his hand up straight away so we’ve had his leadership out there in a slightly different way (against Wigan).

“But he’s been able to have an influence on the team from the sideline which has been great as well.”