FIT-AGAIN CENTRE Joe Arundel is confident of being available to face his former club Castleford Tigers this week after coming through his Wakefield Trinity return unscathed.
Arundel was expected to be out of action for up to four months after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in Trinity’s Easter defeat away to Castleford, but made an early comeback when Wakefield were out played 44-10 at Catalans Dragons three days ago.
That was some rare good news for Trinity who picked up new injuries to Danny Brough (pectoral muscle) and David Fifita (leg) which has left them in doubt for Friday’s derby.
“I pulled up fine,” Arundel confirmed.
“I was pretty sore, but that’s to be expected after quite a bit of time.
“I was supposed to be out for 12-16 weeks so I am back a bit early.
“I came out of my sling pretty early and I kept in touch with the surgeon to make sure I wasn’t doing anything past his protocol.
“It has all been checked out and hopefully it stays strong and I can have a decent finish to the season.”
Arundel’s successful comeback was one of the few positives for Trinity from their trip to Perpignan.
Wakefield had won their previous three away meetings with Catalans, but struggled to come to terms with the summer heat in the south of France and an error-ridden performance meant they were never in the game.
“To say I have been out a while, I thought I did all right,” Arundel said of his own performance in his comeback match. “I felt good fitness-wise, but Catalans were good and they out-played us, which was hard to take.”
He added: “I’ve played in the heat over there a couple of times and it’s just about managing it.
“We dropped too much ball and gave them too much possession and we were doing a lot of defending.
“That’s hard enough in any game, but in that heat we made it even harder for ourselves.”
Trinity remain just four points off bottom place in the table and Arundel admitted they need some wins soon to guarantee their Betfred Super League future.
With eight rounds remaining, points difference means bottom club London Broncos would need to win three more games than Trinity to send them down.
That seems unlikely, but Trinity want to get the job done as quickly as possible and Arundel reckons Friday’s game is “massive” for both clubs.
Tigers have slipped to sixth and he said: “I think both teams are playing poorly and the table is very close, but we aren’t looking down.
“We are looking up, we know we shouldn’t be where we are.
“We have had some injuries, but we are a good enough team to be a lot higher than we are [in the table].”
The game in April, in which Arundel suffered his pectoral muscle injury, was Trinity’s 12th successive loss to neighbours Castleford.
So, a win in two days’ time would be a huge confidence-booster.
“Every time we’ve played Cas we’ve just seemed to get beaten,” Arundel said.
“I am not quite sure how it happens, but we need to find a way to win.
“We have got to hope we do that on Friday. It would be nice to get one over on Castleford and we need a massive reaction from the weekend.
“A lot of fans travelled over to France and we disappointed them.”