COUGARS head coach Rhys Lovegrove spoke last month about his fears over injuries this year, given the lack of a proper pre-season.

And his worst fears are coming true, with Alix Stephenson's broken fibula against Bulls adding to the bad news of Wellington Albert's dislocated ankle in training earlier this month.

Discussing Stephenson's injury after his side's narrow defeat to Bradford on Saturday, Lovegrove said: "We're disappointed for him.

"He's had a very good pre-season and he really adds to our environment, as he's an ultimate professional.

"It was nice to see him get some hits today, but obviously he'll be disappointed it didn't end how he'd imagined."

Jason Muranka, Morgan Robinson and Aaron Levy all suffered injury scares too, and while Lovegrove is hopeful that they were just niggles and tweaks, and that the trio will all be fine for the Challenge Cup tie at London Broncos on Saturday, he admitted he would know more later this week.

Meanwhile, Scott Murrell (calf) and Josh Lynam (quad) both failed late fitness tests and missed out on playing against Bradford altogether.

On that duo, Lovegrove said: "I'm not sure how those two will be, and obviously a big factor is they'll have to sit on a coach for five hours to travel down to London and then play on 4G, which is not conducive to soft tissue injuries and recoveries.

"We'll have to look at them on Tuesday and see how we go on that one."

With all that talk and concern over injuries, it's easy to forget just how well a battered and bruised Keighley played against the Bulls, only losing 22-18, despite being 12-0 down after less than 10 minutes.

A delighted Lovegrove said: "I was really happy.

"I knew Bradford were going to come out really strong with their team. Obviously they've got more full-time players than us and they've had far more opportunity to train than we have.

"So I was delighted we were able to match that group.

"I thought we created the best opportunities towards the end of the game to take the win, so I was happy with the way our boys expressed themselves.

"It was an enjoyable game, and now we can dust ourselves off and get ready for the Challenge Cup at the weekend."