Batley Bulldogs second rower Sam Scott is facing up to six months on the sidelines after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligaments.
Scott was helped from the field during Batley’s opening day win over Leigh Centurions a fortnight ago and tests confirmed the extent of the injury.
Scott had been in terrific form during Batley’s pre-season campaign and was gearing up for a big year in the Kingstone Press Championship.
Brad Day missed last week’s trip to Featherstone after suffering concussion against Leigh and must see a specialist before he can play again.
Hooker James Davey suffered a grade one hamstring tear against Leigh, which will keep him out for up to a month.
In a further blow, centre Shaun Squires was stretchered off during last Sunday’s narrow 14-12 defeat at Featherstone with a knee injury and he is also ruled out of Sunday’s Championship game at home to early pace setters Sheffield Eagles (kick off 3pm).
With Sean Hesketh still some way off a return, Batley have five of their 26 man squad on the sidelines.
Coach John Kear remains confident in his squad, saying: “I still feel we have sufficient quality in our squad to challenge sides, even though we have a fair chunk out.
“We have two second rowers and a centre out, which is three of our edge players.
“Of our first six matches, five of them are against top sides as after Sheffield and Halifax we play Workington and then Bradford.
“It is a very difficult first quarter of the season but we want to embrace this tough start.
“I thought we deserved to get something out of the Featherstone game and if we had come away with the two points people couldn’t have grumbled.”