Castleford Tigers’ winger James Clare optimistic about quick recovery time

IT WAS a worrying few minutes for his team-mates, opponents and viewers watching on television, but Castleford Tigers winger James Clare is confident he will make a full recovery from the neck injury he suffered in last Saturday’s defeat by Wigan Warriors.
WORRYING TIME: Castleford Tigers' James Clare receives treatment after sustaining a neck injury on Saturday. Picture: Mike Egerton/PAAWORRYING TIME: Castleford Tigers' James Clare receives treatment after sustaining a neck injury on Saturday. Picture: Mike Egerton/PAA
WORRYING TIME: Castleford Tigers' James Clare receives treatment after sustaining a neck injury on Saturday. Picture: Mike Egerton/PAA

Clare was treated at length on the field, before being carried off on a stretcher.

He was taken to a nearby hospital for X-rays, but cleared of any serious damage and able to attend training yesterday when Castleford’s players returned to work ahead of Thursday’s game against Salford.

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After Hull KR’s Mose Masoe suffered a career-ending spinal injury during a pre-season game at Wakefield earlier this year, everyone in rugby league is acutely aware of the possible dangers of damage to the neck and back areas, but Clare is not expecting a long layoff.

Castleford Tigers' James Clare.  Picture Tony JohnsonCastleford Tigers' James Clare.  Picture Tony Johnson
Castleford Tigers' James Clare. Picture Tony Johnson

“I am all right,” confirmed the 29-year-old.

“I have got a stiff neck, what feels like a bit of whiplash.

“It hurts your whole back, but in terms of X-rays there’s no structural damage in there.

“There’s a little bit of muscle soreness which will take a few days, but after that I should be absolutely fine.

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“It (his layoff) is not going to be months or anything like that. There’s no broken bones, which was the major risk initially.”

Clare has taken the incident in his stride and bears no ill-will towards Wigan’s Morgan Smithies who was sin-binned for an alleged ‘crusher tackle’.

Smithies has been charged with grade D dangerous contact and will appear before the RFL disciplinary panel this evening.

He has also been issued with a two-game penalty notice after the match review panel charged him with grade C butting Tigers’ Grant Millington.

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“It is rugby league, isn’t it?” he said. “We don’t play tig and pass, it is just one of those things.

“Nobody goes out and thinks I am going to try and break somebody’s neck.

“It was the first time I have ever been on a spinal board and things do go through your head a little bit at the time, but the medical staff who were at the Halliwell Jones, the team that took me over to Warrington Hospital and all the staff and nurses at the hospital were absolutely amazing – they do everything for you to make it a comfortable situation.”

Clare is married with a baby son Arthur, who was born in January. Such situations are often more worrying for those watching on, but Clare said: “My physio, Amy, has access to my phone and she rang Kimberley and reassured her.”

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“There’s that many nice people in rugby league who will do anything for anybody.”

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