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Castro ready to continue impressing

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Martin Castrogiovanni will hope to take up where he left off when he returns to the Leicester Tigers line-up against Sale Sharks this evening.

The 25-year-old prop has become a huge favourite with team-mates and supporters since his arrival at Welford Road last summer and had been in excellent form until suffering a knee injury during his RBS Six Nations Championship campaign with Italy.

But Castrogiovanni returned to the frame with a second-half appearance from the replacements' bench in the win over Stade Francais in the Heineken Cup quarter-final on Sunday and is in line to start against defending Guinness Premiership champions Sale.

"I recovered from the injury in five weeks to be ready for last weekend, the physios did a really good job and I was really happy that I could come back so early," he said. "The knee is okay. I need to work on fitness after being injured, but the knee is okay."

Castrogiovanni has become an instant hit with the Tigers supporters, and the feelings are mutual.

"I played 15 or 20 games for Calvisano in the Heineken Cup but never played in a quarter-final so it felt amazing on Sunday to be involved," he said. "I was really nervous on the bench because the game was so close. But to go out and see all the fans was brilliant and it was a new experience. It was really good."