Castleford blow as Danny Richardson unlikely to play at all in 2023

Drew Darbyshire
Danny Richardson Castleford Tigers SWpix

Castleford have been dealt a huge blow, with half-back Danny Richardson revealing that he doesn’t think he’ll be back on the field at all this season.

The 26-year-old half-back suffered a horrific injury last August, tearing his MCL and ACL before undergoing surgery in November.

Richardson has revealed exclusively to Love Rugby League that he doesn’t think he’ll play a game in 2023.

“This is the first pre-season I’ve missed through my injury,” Richardson said. “I had my operation on November 29th.

“My knee was a mess, I had torn my MCL and ACL. I had to wait for my MCL to heal, so I was in a brace for seven weeks with that. Then I had to get my knee right for the operation.

“Getting over the operation and stuff was a test itself and pretty much start of January I’ve been doing my rehab and upper body weights.

“I don’t think I’ll play this year. Obviously we’ll have to wait and see but (my priority is) making sure I’m fit for next pre-season. But we’ll see how we get on. I’m flying at the minute and doing everything right to give myself the best chance to have a full recovery from this.

“When I had the op, the specialist said 10-12 months so you won’t be playing in 2023”

“I’ve had it in my head that I’m not going to play and I’ve accepted it. It is what it is. You can’t sulk and mope around, you’ve got to get on with life.

“You can’t make excuses and be miserable all the time and blame other stuff. I’m cracking on and putting all my energy into getting it right and taking little wins and getting it better every day. I’m getting a bit of a kick out of that with the improvements and progress that I’ve made.”

TIGERS: Castleford confirm squad numbers for 2023

Danny Richardson staying positive despite injury setback

The former St Helens playmaker remains upbeat and has vowed to come back bigger and better than ever before.

“The plan is to get myself right and have a good pre-season next year,” he added. “I’ll be 27 then, so I’ll be right in the thick of my career and hoping for an injury free 2024 and hopefully a big one at that.

“With these knees, you’ve got to be so careful. Some lads come back early and the damage can be catastrophic and end up finishing careers. I want to make sure I get it right.

“We’ve signed two lads (Gareth Widdop and Jacob Miller) who are proven quality half-backs and there’s no rush for me to get back. I need to make sure it’s 100% and ready to go.

“It is a tough sport and you’ve got to be near enough 100% or you’ll let the team-mates down, your club down and the fans down.

“I’ll be spending most of time away from the field this year, more in the gym and with the physios. But I’ll be cheering the boys on every game day.”

Castleford get their Super League campaign underway away at Hull on February 19.

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