Sylvester Namo returns for Castleford Tigers as coach Craig Lingard provides injury latest

Drew Darbyshire
Sylvester Namo, Albert Vete, Luke Hooley, Rowan Milnes Castleford Tigers Alamy

Sylvester Namo (top left), Albert Vete (top right), Luke Hooley (bottom left) and Rowan Milnes (bottom right) in action for Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers coach Craig Lingard has confirmed they will be without prop Albert Vete for a ‘few weeks’ due to a recurring calf injury.

Speaking in his weekly press conference prior to Friday’s game against Salford Red Devils, Lingard confirmed the injury to former Tonga international Vete, who was a notable absentee from their 21-man squad that was released on Wednesday.

Lingard confirmed that Papua New Guinea international Sylvester Namo and his fellow off-season recruit Samy Kibula would come back into his side for Friday’s Round 7 match against Salford.

Lingard said: “He (Vete) did his calf again in training this week so he’s going to be on the sidelines again for another few weeks I would imagine, so he’s away getting a scan and starting his rehab. He’s going to be sat out on the sidelines for another few weeks unfortunately.

“It’s a recurrence of the same injury, so it’s obviously not ideal for us or for him, it’s a bit disappointing to be fair.

“Sylvester Namo comes back into the squad this week, Samy Kibula comes in, so numbers-wise we are alright for middles, but it leaves us a little bit light in terms of depth and rotations should anyone else get injured or drop out so we’re a little bit thin on the ground rotations-wise just in case we get any more injuries.”

Papua New Guinea international Sylvester Namo back for the Tigers

Namo, who joined the Tigers on a two-year deal in the off-season, made his debut in their defeat to Huddersfield Giants last month, with Lingard admitting at the time his first game came a bit prematurely after recovering from an ACL injury – but the Tigers coach insists he’s now more ready.

“We are three or four weeks further down the line now on that one, he’s done a lot more training, he’s played out on dual-reg at Newcastle, he’s played in the reserves as well so he’s got more minutes in him,” Lingard said.

“He’s still not 100% of where he needs to be for the week in, week out rigours of Super League so we’re going to have to make sure we manage his minutes on the field and make sure we don’t run him too long so he gets into that part where he is getting fatigued.

“We’re going to manage his minutes on the weekend and make sure we get an impact out of it, so he knows what his role is to come onto the field and give us a little bit of an impact and presence which I think has been lacking from our bench in recent weeks.”

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Castleford coach provides updates on Luke Hooley and Rowan Milnes

Lingard also provided an update on full-back Luke Hooley and half-back Rowan Miles, who are currently sidelined with shoulder and hamstring injuries respectively.

“They are both back in training to a certain degree,” Lingard added. “Luke is running, obviously his is a shoulder injury so he can do his running on the field.

“Rowan is a little bit different because it’s a hamstring injury, so he is the other way around, he can do his uppers in the gym but is restricted at what he can do on his lowers at this moment in time. I can imagine we are still two or three weeks away from those two being available to come back in.”

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