JORDAN Lilley will miss the start of the season for the Bulls with a knee injury.

The half back sat out today’s opening friendly against Batley after suffering the problem in training.

John Kear confirmed that could rule him out for up to six weeks – but admitted he had feared it might have been a lot worse.

Kear said: “Jordan was at training and went down with nobody near him. That really concerned me so we got him scanned.

“He’s got a grade two tear of his PCL (outer ligament of the knee). The good thing is it’s not ruptured or it would have been a season-ender.

“It’s not, so it looks to be a six-to-eight week job and fortunately for us, three of those weeks are before the Dewsbury game.

“It’s a blow but it’s not as bad as I feared when I saw the kid go down at first.”

Billy Jowitt partnered Dec Patton in the halves as the Bulls went down 28-22 at Odsal and performed well.

He is likely to get the nod for the Championship curtain raiser at the Tetley’s Stadium on January 30 – although Kear will also consider the dual-registration option.

Patton, brought in to replace Danny Brough after his retirement, caught the eye on his first Bulls outing.

Kear added: “I’m pleased he is enjoying himself and I hope he’s fallen in love with rugby again.

“He’s had a tough few years but we’ve seen today, even on a heavy pitch in rain, some elements that he’s going to be an exciting player for us.

“They’ve had a tough week, our players have trained Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

“We haven’t held back to prepare for a game – we’ve kept the accelerator to the floor and they’ve been tough training sessions.”