Lee Gaskell has been ruled out for up to three months following the knee injury he sustained during Thursday’s win at Wakefield.
The Bulls stand-off went down in the first tackle of the game and scans yesterday revealed he had suffered medial collateral ligament (MCL) damage.
He will be sidelined for between eight and 12 weeks, dealing a major setback to Francis Cummins’ small squad.
Danny Addy filled the stand-off role at Wakefield following Gaskell’s departure and could now be set for a prolonged run alongside Luke Gale.
Head coach Cummins, who is also scouring the market for potential new recruits, said: “We are bitterly disappointed for Lee, it is a big blow for us and that goes without saying.
“Injuries are very much part and parcel of our sport and Lee has been very unlucky, getting injured from the kick-off.
“However, on a positive note, we have a great medical team in place here and I know he is in good hands.
“With the right type of rehabilitation, I am confident he will be back in time to complete the majority of the season.”
It was revealed yesterday that 23-year-old Gaskell had suffered a grade-three MCL tear, which leaves him in a set brace for almost a fortnight.
Head physio Dan Ramsden said: “We are aiming to have Lee back in eight weeks, that is the plan, but these things can take time.
“His brace will be fixed at a 30-degree angle for seven to 11 days, with us gradually moving it.
“After a month it will come off and the rehabilitation will begin.
“We are hopeful of a pain-free recovery for Lee, before getting him back into running and skills.
“The final stage will be full contact and I reckon he has a great chance of making a speedy recovery, given his age and fitness levels.”