Batley Bulldogs have been dealt another injury blow with scrum-half Scott Leatherbarrow ruled out after fracturing a bone in a hand.
Leatherbarrow faces an operation tomorrow and is expected to be sidelined for between eight to 12 weeks.
Full-back James Craven sustained a serious knee injury against Halifax the previous week and Ayden Faal has suffered a reoccurrence of a shoulder injury and also needs to see a specialist.
Batley will be without the key trio for one of their toughest Kingstone Press Championship fixtures of the season on Sunday when Bradford Bulls visit Fox’s Biscuits Stadium (kick off 3pm).
Coach John Kear said: “Scott has not missed a game since he came to us and the one he wanted to play in more than any other he will miss.
“For the lads who are selected it will be fantastic for them to play and I hope they do themselves justice.
“We are down on numbers having lost a full-back, three-quarter and half-back and we will be on the look out to bring somebody in.”
Leatherbarrow played the final 25 minutes of last week’s game against Sheffield Eagles with the broken hand yet received criticism for his performance as some supporters took to social media.
Kear was disappointed with the reaction, saying: “I would challenge any of those keyboard warriors to play 25 minutes with a broken hand.
“Scott felt he could help us win and played with the injury, obviously he couldn’t, but that fact was he was prepared to give it a go.
“People need to think before making sweeping statements on social media.”
Kear admitted he is relishing the prospects of his Bulldogs side locking horns with Bradford and is looking for a response to last week’s 28-16 defeat to the Eagles.