Castleford coach Ian Millward has hailed the courage of Kirk Dixon after he defied serious injury to play in Sunday's 34-30 Stobart Super League win over Salford before being ruled out of the rest of the season.
The 27-year-old goalkicking centre is to undergo major spinal surgery that will sideline him for at least six months, but played on Sunday due to a shortage of outside backs.
"It was very courageous of Kirk to play," said Millward. "He has been losing power in his right arm for a number of weeks now and in actual fact he was down to 10 per cent power when tested last week.
"His season would have ended before yesterday had it not been for Josh Griffin picking up a knock against Bradford.
"We needed him to play one more game so we patched him and told him how brave he was.
"However, it's quite a major operation. It's a bit to do with his spine and also the vertebrae on his neck."
Dixon, who joined Castleford from Hull in 2007, had a shoulder reconstruction in the winter after sustaining a season-ending injury in the Tigers' Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Leeds last August.
He also spent six months on the sidelines in 2009 after a tear in his right calf failed to heal properly, resulting in a blood clot which spread to his lungs.