Castleford Tigers forward Liam Watts will be out of action for at least a month with a broken finger.
The news puts a huge dent in the Tigers’ top five hopes, with Watts being one of their key players so far in 2019.
The 29-year-old was third in the Man of Steel standings and the highest ranked forward before the points went private after round 23.
“Liam Watts will be out and is going to be out for a number of weeks,” said Castleford head coach Daryl Powell. “He’s got a couple of injuries, he’s got an ankle injury and a finger injury and he’s set to be out for at least four weeks.
“It’s a fair blow as he’s been a stand-out for most of the year for us.”
Powell also confirmed that two other players are nursing injuries and could join Watts on the sideline.
“Greg Minikin is a pretty big doubt and Greg Eden will be missing as well, he’s got a minor injury to his ankle and won’t be available.” he continued. “There’ll be a few people missing so there’s going to be some opportunities.
“Paul McShane will be back and that will be great for us as he’s an important player and it allows Adam Milner to play in the loose again, which is his preference at the moment.
“In terms of making other changes we had quite a few players who weren’t quite good enough last week, but it’s who we’ve got available to come in and I’ll make decisions as we work through the week.”