LUKE Gale is ready to be St Helens’ biggest headache – just 16 days after his own stomach ache almost ended his season.
And the Castleford man has revealed he was initially told he can forget about the World Cup.
Gale is ready to return to the Tigers’ side after having his appendix removed when he was struck down with appendicitis.
The scrum-half ended up in hospital after his condition, which could have proved fatal had it not been treated, worsened by the hour.
In a hospital bed, he was told he would have to have his appendix removed and the initial diagnosis was not good for his hopes of inspiring Cas to the Grand Final nor representing England at the World Cup.
Gale told SunSport: “A woman came to see me and I said, ‘I play rugby. I’ve got a big game in two weeks and hopefully I’m going to Australia in four.’
“She just said, ‘There’ll be none of that. If you have an operation, you won’t be playing rugby again this year.’
“They said I’d have to have it taken out as if you leave it, it can bust and poison your blood. Someone said that and I said, ‘Book me in now! I’ll have it taken out now.’
“I went to the gym on that Monday and steadily got worse through that day. Then at 3pm or 4pm, I had to ring 111 as I was in that much pain.
“At first I thought it was just indigestion or something like that but I ended up just lying in the shower to be honest, the pain was horrendous.
“I went to A and E and they said they needed to operate that night. After that first news, I was thinking, ‘Everything I’ve done this year has just come to an end.’
“Then the specialist came and reassured me. I spoke with our coach, Daryl Powell, and the physio about it but thankfully it’s come good.
Gale’s season has seen him land the League Leaders’ Shield for the first time in Cas’ 91-year history and yesterday (Mon) he was one of six Cas players named in Super League’s Dream Team for 2017.
He could yet be named the Steve Prescott Man of Steel honour, make the Grand Final if they defeat St Helens on Thursday and Wayne Bennett’s World Cup squad.
But he has just one aim in his mind – reaching Old Trafford.
The 29-year-old added: “Hopefully I’m right for Thursday. I’ve done a bit of training but not too much.
“With a bit of luck I’ll be back and it’ll all be forgotten about. I’m also OK to go to Australia if picked. I feel as well as ever at the moment.
“Everything we’ve worked on is on the line on Thursday. It not going our way hasn’t even entered my mind.”
SUPER LEAGUE DREAM TEAM 2017
Zak Hardaker (Castleford); Greg Eden (Castleford), Michael Shenton (Castleford), Mark Percival (St Helens), Mahe Fonua (Hull); Albert Kelly (Hull), Luke Gale (Castleford); Sebastine Ikahihifo (Huddersfield), Matt Parcell (Leeds), Grant Millington (Castleford), Mike McMeeken (Castleford), Ben Murdoch-Masila (Salford), Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan)
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