Leeds Rhinos have been rocked by the news hooker Paul Aiton will be sidelined for the next three months.
Aiton, an off-season recruit from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, has missed two games due to what the club described as a virus.
A Rhinos statement this afternoon said he is facing a lay-off until the summer “whilst undergoing a course of prescribed medication to treat the medical condition which has side lined him for the past two weeks.”
Chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “Paul is desperately disappointed because he feels fit and healthy, but after tests and consultation with a specialist he has been advised he needs a course of medication.
“He will not be able to play whilst taking this medication until he has made a full recovery. This process is expected to be about 12 weeks, but he will be monitored on a monthly basis.”
Aiton said: “I’m so enjoying being part of the Rhinos team and really disappointed I will be out for so long, but I’ll do all I have to and be back raring to go.”
Coach Brian McDermott admitted losing Aiton is a major setback.
He said: “Paul had settled in really well, so to be losing him and Jamie Jones-Buchanan for the next three months is a blow, but at least they’ll both come back at a crucial time of the season pretty fresh and fit.”