Catalan Dragons second-rower Elliott Whitehead has been cleared of a broken ankle but he is facing a lengthy spell out of the game.

The 25-year-old former Bradford forward was injured during the Dragons’ 33-20 Challenge Cup defeat by his old club on Sunday.

Whitehead has found his best form since joining the Catalans last June and is their leading scorer this season with nine tries in nine Super League matches.

“It’s a big loss for us,” said Catalan coach Laurent Frayssinous. “Elliott has been outstanding this season so far.

“But I am pleased for Elliott that it is not a fracture, as it was feared after the game. The medical staff will work closely with him now to make sure he rehabilitates correctly.”