CASTLEFORD TIGERS are reeling from a massive injury blow less than a month before the start of the new season.
Half-back Luke Gale is facing a long lay-off after suffering a suspected rupture to an Achilles tendon in training yesterday. He will see a specialist this week, but if confirmed the injury is likely to keep him out for most of the 2019 Betfred Super League campaign.
Gale missed 15 games last year after suffering a dislocated kneecap in April. He returned in September, but knee surgery forced him out of England’s autumn Test series against New Zealand and he was in danger of missing Tigers’ Super League opener at home to Catalans Dragons on Friday, February 1.
Tigers’ director of rugby Jon Wells said: “Luke has suffered a suspected ruptured Achilles tendon during training over the weekend.
“He will be seeing a specialist to assess the seriousness of the injury, but unfortunately the prognosis doesn’t look great.
“The whole club is gutted for Luke, who had been progressing really well following off-season surgery to his knee.
“This is likely to be another significant setback for him, but having known Luke for many years I know that he is an extremely strong character and a resilient member of our squad who will be doing everything he can to overcome this latest hurdle and return fit and healthy to the Tigers fold in the future.”
Leeds Rhinos prop Keith Galloway suffered a ruptured Achilles in the penultimate game of the 2016 and did not play again until the following April.
Gale is known for his powers of recovery and played in Tigers’ 2017 play-off semi-final against St Helens two weeks after having his appendix removed.
Jamie Ellis, Ben Roberts and Cory Aston are all options to partner Jacob Trueman in the halves during Gale’s absence.