England half-back Luke Gale will miss a “big chunk” of the 2019 Super League season for Castleford after rupturing an Achilles tendon in training.
Tigers director of rugby Jon Wells confirmed the 30-year-old playmaker’s injury will be assessed by a specialist to determine the exact time of absence.
It was a tough season in 2018 for Gale, who missed England’s Test series with New Zealand because of knee surgery.
Before that, he also fractured his kneecap and was out for three months.
Head coach Daryl Powell could again turn to Jake Trueman at scrum-half after he won the Young Player of the Year award last season, while former Sheffield and Leeds half Cory Aston is also on the books.
“For those of who who have any experience of Achilles injuries, you’ll know it’s a fairly serious injury,” Wells said. “We’re gutted for him. It was a freak training incident.
“He’s a key and influential member of our squad and an England international. He will be sorely missed, it’ll be a big chunk of the season but he’s previously booked in for surgery.”