Sosaia Feki injury is bitter blow for Castleford Tigers
Feki, 29, ruptured his Achilles tendon in pre-season training last week and faces missing the entire 2021 campaign.
The Tonga international had already seen his debut campaign last year ruined by calf and knee issues after joining from Cronulla Sharks on a three-year deal.
He was limited to just one appearance against Hull FC in the Challenge Cup and Powell admits he feels for the former NRL star. Talking to The Yorkshire Post, the coach said: “He’s had an operation to repair his Achilles tendon and it has been successful.
“Obviously, the return time for those sorts of injuries is a long one.
“It’s devastating for him and hugely disappointing for us; he looked really good in pre-season training and then it’s just one of those freak injuries.
“Obviously, we’ve had experience of it before with Luke Gale (in 2019) and it is really tough on a player when those sorts of things happen.
“It didn’t go Sosaia’s way last year. Again, this year – before he’s had a chance to show us what he can do, which we were all excited about – he’s got injured so it’s a fair blow to us and him.
“He is a bit broken; it’s pretty tough for a young fella to have to go through this sort of thing again.”
Such injuries can take anything from six to nine months to heal. Powell replied: “It’s more nine than six (for Feki) and it could potentially be more than that.
“They (Achilles) are not an easy fix. I’ve had a couple of text messages with him but we’ve not had a good chat yet so we’ll wait and see.”
In some cases, clubs can apply for a salary cap exemption when a player is ruled out for a long period by injury.
Powell is unsure about whether Castleford will explore that option or not.
They do have three other senior wingers in their first-team squad – Derrell Olpherts, James Clare and Greg Eden, although Clare is currently sidelined.
“James Clare is injured at the moment but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens (with Feki),” added Powell, whose side begin their Super League campaign against Warrington Wolves on Sunday, March 28.
“It’s pretty soon after the incident. James has a knee injury which he’s had an operation on. He went to see a specialist and it was a bit worse than we thought it was.
“I think he’ll miss the first three, potentially four rounds (of Super League).
“Derrell is – touch wood – okay at the moment but this is just Sod’s Law and it’s the way it happens sometimes.
“So we’ve got Greg Eden and Derrell at the moment and then James when he comes back.”
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