MICKEY ROURKE’S visit to watch the Giants in Super League action has been put on temporary hold.
But Huddersfield prop Keith Mason has revealed the Hollywood film star still intends to come to the Galpharm – once both men are fit!
The duo struck up an unlikely friendship in the wake of the Giants’ Challenge Cup final defeat to Warrington Wolves at Wembley last August, when they first met at Stringfellow’s nightclub.
Since then Mason has travelled back down to the capital – along with former Huddersfield teammate Scott Moore – to be Rourke’s guest at a high-profile awards ceremony before the prop visited the American film legend at his New York apartment last autumn.
In return, Mason invited Rourke to come and watch the Giants in Super League XV action at the Galpharm during his trip to England this spring, with next Sunday’s clash against champions Leeds having been pencilled in.
But with Mason still on the sidelines following a torn pectoral muscle suffered during the opening-night triumph over Bradford Bulls and Rourke having to travel to Germany to undergo a bicep operation, that Leeds date has become a non-starter.
However, Mason is still hopeful his world famous friend will be able to make the St Helens home game on Sunday, March 28 or the Galpharm clash against Catalans Dragons the following Friday.
“Mickey was keen to come to the Leeds game to see me play, so as soon as it was confirmed I wouldn’t be back in time it was obvious that wouldn’t happen,” said Mason.
“And, on top of that, Mickey’s had to go to Germany to have a bicep tear fixed, and I don’t exactly know yet when he’ll be back.
“But he’s still very keen to take in a game before he heads back to the States, and it would be great if it could be the Saints game later this month or Catalans a week later.
“All being well, I’ll be back playing by then, which in itself will be fantastic for me!”
Mason is now well on the road to recovery following the injury he suffered making his first tackle in Super League XV in the 24-12 home triumph over the Bulls on February 5.
It was hardly the start the former Saints front-rower had wanted, and he admits it came as a massive blow.
But he is determined to come back stronger as a result.
“Although I had a disrupted pre-season because of the hernia operation and a calf-muscle injury, I couldn’t wait for the season to start. I was looking forward to carrying on from where I left off last year and having a massive year,” he added.
“So I was absolutely devastated when I suffered the injury in the first minute against Bradford. It was probably one of the lowest points in my career.
“But that’s given me something of a wake-up call, and I’m now even more hungry to get back onto the field and make sure this season is even better than last.
“It’s a tall order, not just for me, but for everyone at the club. It’s going to take something extra special to beat third place in Super League last year and a Challenge Cup final appearance, but even though we’ve already lost two games so far we do feel confident we can keep on building.”
Mason added: “We were very unlucky not to beat Hull – we had some really tough calls against us – and were just as unlucky not to beat Warrington last weekend.
“I thought that match the other day was a real high-quality one, and it was a fantastic forward battle, the sort I love to be a part of. It was my type of game.
“I’ve always tried to play the game aggressive but fair, and that’s what the game against Warrington last weekend was all about. I would have loved to have been out there.
“And I know how much I would have loved to have been out there at Wakefield tonight, because that’s going to be another big forward battle.
“To be honest, I always look forward to going to Wakefield as it was my first professional club and I really enjoyed my time there.
“The coach at the time was John Harbin, and I believe I owe him a lot. When I first arrived at the club, my discipline wasn’t the best, but he got me in line and sorted me out. If he hadn’t I don’t know how my career may have panned out.
“As a result, it’s been great to see the way Wakefield have grown as a Super League club since the, although I’m now a Huddersfield player through and through, and I would be as disappointed as anyone if we lost tonight.
“Even though Wakefield have won one more game that us, I still feel we’ve got the players who can go their and do a job,” Mason continued. “I’ve been impressed with the way our forwards have started the season, and the way Larne Patrick has taken his chance has been great to see.
“He’s obviously benefited from me picking up my injury, and fair play to him. He needed a break to show everyone how he’s developing at this level and how strong his potential is, and I provided him with it.
“Larne’s clearly becoming a player who can start to threaten me for a place in the side, and I’m happy about that.
“I’ve had competition for my place throughout my career, and that’s the best way to push you and bring the very best out of your game.
“That can only be to the benefit of the Giants.”