Injury prognosis is delaying Tigers’ plans

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CASTLEFORD TIGERS coach Daryl Powell admits he must still await results of various x-rays and scans before being able to confirm his squad for tomorrow’s Challenge Cup tie at Hull FC.

He is already without at least seven first-team players but could see more of his 19-man squad withdraw due to a “ridiculous” situation for last season’s beaten finalists.

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell

Prop Scott Wheeldon suffered knee ligament damage in last Friday’s defeat at Wigan Warriors and second-row Frankie Mariano has re-injured the wrist operated on last year, keeping him out of the early part of the season.

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They have joined Luke Dorn, Justin Carney, Matt Cook, Scott Moore and Denny Solomona on the casualty list.

Andy Lynch, Oliver Holmes, Nathan Massey and Mike McMeeken could return but Powell admitted: “We are a bit interesting at the moment with injuries.

“We haven’t made much of it, we’ve just got on with it, but we are struggling a little bit. I can’t name a team as there’s a couple of guys with X-rays and scans.

“Even having named a 19 I might have to change that along the way, with people pulling out.

“Potentially I don’t think I’m going to know (the line-up) until the day.”

Hull have won six of their last seven games and see prop Mickey Paea return after a two-match ban and Curtis Naughton recalled with Jamie Shaul and Stuart Howarth dropping out.

But for Tigers, Powell said: “The last month/six weeks has been difficult picking a team.

“It is a tough one, but it’s one of those situations where the 17 that take the field just need to pull together and come up with a performance that gets us the result.

“But obviously Hull are at home and they’ll be feeling pretty confident about themselves, so we will be going in as pretty big underdogs I would think.”