Batley Bulldogs are facing up to a worsening injury crisis with Anthony Nicholson the latest to be ruled out of Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie against Swinton Lions.
Nicholson broke an arm in training on Tuesday and joins long-term casualties Scott Leatherbarrow, James Craven and Johnny Campbell on the sidelines.
Bulldogs coach John Kear admits this is the worst injury list during his time in the game but is determined his side will come through it and turn round their fortunes.
Kear said: “I have been in the game for 30-plus years and I have never known anything like this.
“Every time we train or play a game, we seem to pick up an injury.
“These are not injuries to prop forwards or second row men but to three-quarters and pivotal players and it is very frustrating.
“We can not get a settled team but that is how it is and at some stage this season our luck has got to change.”
There is some good news for Batley as they have agreed a deal with St Helens to extend Matty Fozard’s loan spell on a week by week basis and he will feature at half-back against Swinton.
Kear is also hoping to agree a loan deal with another player before their next Kingstone Press Championship match, against leaders Leigh Centurions on April 26.
Batley must put their injury woes behind them as they face a very capable Swinton side, who strengthened during the off season.
The Lions have already reached the iPro Sport Cup final, while they brushed aside London Skolars and Rochdale on their way to the Challenge Cup fifth round.
Kear added: “They are a very good team and have plenty of Championship experience as well as Super League experience in Jordan James.”