Gale out of Knights game as he looks to be fit for Bradford Bulls pre-season (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Luke Gale out of Knights game as he looks to be fit for Bradford Bulls pre-season
Luke Gale will play no part in England Knights’ clash with Samoa next month as he bids to return to full fitness in time for pre-season training.
The Bulls scrum half was recently sounded out about playing in the match at Salford City Stadium on October 19, which is the curtain-raiser to England’s final warm-up game against Italy before the World Cup.
But the ankle problem which has hampered Gale for much of the season will now see him undergo a clear-out and force him to miss the Knights fixture.
Bulls coach Francis Cummins said: “Luke could have had the clear-out, possibly had a week off and then do a bit of training before playing in the game.
“But it’s so important for Luke that he gets himself completely right because 2014 is going to be a massive year for him and us as a club, so he won’t be playing for the Knights next month.”
Gale endured a stop-start 2013 after missing the whole of pre-season and the opening ten rounds of Super League.
He sustained ankle ligament damage when on Knights duty at the end of last season and was forced to undergo surgery.
The problem has continued to hamper the 25-year-old and it has been decided that he will now take the option of a clear-out.
Cummins spoke to Kieron Purtill after the final-day home win over Huddersfield, where the Knights coach serves as assistant.
The Bulls chief explained: “Luke’s injury has settled down but it’s still there, so Kieron and I had a quick chat after the Huddersfield game.
“We spoke about Luke being desperate to play against Samoa but, looking at all the evidence, it’s apparent that he does need to get the clear-out done and then put his feet up for a few weeks.
“Then he will be ready for the pre-season which he didn’t get last year.”
Cummins recognises the importance of Gale being fully fit for pre-season, which will begin in early November, after a traumatic year in which his mother passed away.
“Luke has been through a lot this year and sometimes you just need a bit of down-time to get ready because I’m predicting big things from him next season,” said Cummins.
“He needs to step up as well in how he plays but also in terms of him becoming a senior professional and taking more responsibility.
“He’s already starting to do that, which is pleasing, because there is a lot of quality to Luke not only as a player but also as a person.”
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