Castleford Tigers: Nathan Massey timeframe revealed as coach provides update on Jacques O’Neill

Drew Darbyshire
Andy Last Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers coach Andy Last has revealed they will be without forward Nathan Massey for six to eight weeks with an MCL injury.

Massey, 33, left the action in the first half of their 23-14 win over Warrington last week following a hip drop tackle from James Harrison, which he was sin-binned for at the time and has since received a two-match ban for.

“It looks like it will be six to eight weeks,” Last said of Massey’s injury in his weekly press conference ahead of Friday’s trip to St Helens.

“Hoping he might be able to push himself back to come back for the Hull Kingston Rovers game (July 28), so that’s the target he’s put in his own mind.

“He’s notoriously a quick healer, so hopefully he’ll be available for then but we don’t want to push him too much, but that’s the diagnosis.

“Obviously looking back at it on video, it was a real nasty one. His ankle got in an awful position and his knee took a fair bit of impact of the collision.

“He was in a brace straight away, a bit of swelling and the ankle was black and blue the next morning so it was better than we anticipated, so we’ve got lucky there.”

Castleford Tigers boss provides the latest on Jacques O’Neill

Last also provided an update on hooker Jacques O’Neill, who continues to train hard and get his fitness up to speed after returning to the Jungle earlier this year following his time off with hit reality TV show Love Island.

Last said: “There’s a chance that he might feature (this season).

“Its taken him a little bit longer for him to get up to rugby speed than it might have anticipated.

“He’s got a little bit of a sore Achilles at the moment which is due to the running and amount of work that he has to do.

“I think Jacques was expecting it to be a little bit quicker than it actually has been. He has gone from 18 months ago, being almost back to a playing level and then he made the decision to pursue other interests in Love Island and then come back to wanting to try to finish the journey from a rugby point of view.

“It has taken a little bit longer than he probably anticipated it would but he’s working hard, got his head down and doing what he needs to do so hopefully we’ll see Jacques participating from a playing point of view but it’s just a slow process.”

Castleford Tigers travel to The Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday night to face champions St Helens, 8pm kick-off.

READ NEXT: Former Castleford Tigers coach Lee Radford lined up for shock code switch with Premiership club