Featherstone Rovers man Josh Hardcastle has confirmed in a statement that his recovery is going well having suffered a stroke last Tuesday.
The utility, who can play on the wing or in the centres, is set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines to recuperate as confirmed by the club earlier on today.
Issuing a statement via Rovers’ social media, Hardcastle himself has now provided the latest update.
Featherstone Rovers utility Josh Hardcastle recovering from stroke
Hardcastle’s statement read: “I’m grateful for all the well wishes I’ve received over the last week. I’m recovering well and am getting support from the club and RL cares.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the Batley game next week, a game I’d have loved to have played in.
Hardcastle set for prolonged absence
30-year-old ‘local lad’ Hardcastle was born in Pontefract and came through the youth setup at Wakefield before progressing onto Featherstone.
Also representing Whitsunday Brahmans for a short spell over in Australia, he has been with Fev since 2017, racking up 145 appearances.
The utility has started 12 games in 2023, helping Sean Long’s side to a dominant position at the top of the Championship, currently 10 points ahead of their nearest competitors.
Hardcastle was already set for a lengthy absence after picking up a complex knee injury against York Knights a few weeks back. He was set to return before the end of the season, but now, his timeframe – should he opt to play again – is unknown.
Injury list grows for Featherstone
Despite how well Long’s men have done so far in 2023, their injury list remains a long one and will be a concern heading into the play-offs.
In an update from Head of Medical Aaron Scholes in the first week of July, the club provided timescales on a sextet of current injured stars.
Jack Bussey (3 months), Brad Day (2 months) and Junior Moors (6 weeks) are long-term, along with Hardcastle who now goes down as indefinite.
Johnathon Ford is going well in his recovery from a serious shoulder injury, and is back in training, but it’s expected to be at least another few weeks before he’s back in contention. Chris Hankinson meanwhile has already returned.
Stunned by Batley at the semi-final stage in the play-offs last term, Rovers will be hoping the seemingly ever-growing list of absentees doesn’t cost them this time around with all eyes on a spot in Super League for 2024.