Bulls rookie Curtis Naughton is aiming to come back fitter and stronger from the injury setback which has wrecked his start to the season.

The 17-year-old full back from Dewsbury sustained a knee injury in the under-19s’ opening game against Wakefield a fortnight ago.

He suffered a tear of his lateral meniscus (cartilage in knee joint) and underwent an operation which will keep him out for between six and eight weeks.

“I was running and then I sidestepped but my right knee caved in,” said Naughton of the incident, which led to him being taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary.

“I heard a crack and I knew straight away that I’d done something. I couldn’t believe I did it in the first game and it’s very disappointing.

“But these things happen, so hopefully I’ll recover quickly and be back as soon as possible.”

Naughton, who turns 18 later this month, is now well underway with his rehabilitation – and it is not the first time the highly-rated teenager has suffered a significant injury setback.

The former Shaw Cross amateur explained: “I got a bad ankle injury a couple of years ago and couldn’t play for England.

“I was distraught but I came back stronger and fitter, so hopefully this time I will come back twice as fit, fast and strong.

“I’ll be going in every day to make sure I get proper rehab’ and try and get back as quickly as I can.

“Dan Ramsden, our physio, will help me with my recovery. He knows his stuff and has brought a lot of new stuff to our physio this year. I think that will help me a lot with my rehab’.”

Paul Medley’s under-19s were due to be in action at home to Castleford tonight but the match has been postponed.