IF there was an award for the unluckiest player in rugby league, Bradford Bulls’ Matty Dawson-Jones would surely be in the running to win it.

Having missed virtually all season with a broken arm, he finally returned in the victory over Swinton Lions a fortnight ago.

But just moments into last week’s win at York City Knights, a broken thumb ended his afternoon.

And it is bad news for the talented winger, with Bulls head coach John Kear saying: “Matty’s thumb has been operated on, to stabilise it, but he’s looking at at least a six-week lay-off, which means his season is done sadly.

“I feel for him, because he’s a great talent, but he just can’t get in the squad.

“We’ve got to trust in him (and his fitness) going forward because when he’s on the field, he’s a Super League standard three-quarter.”

There is more bad news on the injury front ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Toulouse at Dewsbury.

Kear said: “Danny Brough is struggling with a hip injury, so we’ve left him out as a precaution, with the play-offs around the corner. Matty Race has been recalled from North Wales though, so he's in the squad.

“Ant Walker and Aaron Murphy are struggling, so they won’t feature, and Adam Rooks, Jack Sanderson and Masi Matongo are self-isolating.

“One of those three actually has Covid, but I’m not going to reveal which one.”

All of those absentees make tomorrow’s encounter with Toulouse even more difficult, with the French outfit having won every league game they have played so far this season.

Discussing this weekend’s clash, Kear said: “They’re strong favourites to be promoted, as they should be, because the money they’ve spent means their squad is stacked with Super League standard players.

“It’s a game we go into without pressure on us, but we’re at least hoping to challenge them.”

One of Toulouse’s best players is versatile back Jy Hitchcox, who spent two years under Kear at Bulls, scoring a hat-trick in the side’s League One play-off final win over Leon Pryce’s Workington Town back in 2018.

Kear said: “Of course we’d have loved to keep hold of him, but the truth is we couldn’t afford him, whereas Toulouse could pay his salary.

“He’s a great player who is very welcome here whenever he returns, and that includes tomorrow.”