Castleford Tigers have lost a second half-back with news that Jamie Ellis looks set to be ruled out action for up to six months with a serious knee injury.
After already losing Luke Gale for the season, Ellis has joined him on the sidelines after picking up the injury in pre-season training.
Ellis, 29, suffered the injury in the lead up to the pre-season friendly with Featherstone at the end of December and did not play in the game after being initially selected in the squad.
He has now been told he requires surgery on his knee and will be sidelines for a long period.
“It’s a tough one and we need to look after him,” said Tigers head coach Daryl Powell.
“Jamie was going to play in the Featherstone game, but he hurt his knee in the warm-up.
“We tried to rehab him, but he went to see the specialist today and he needs a micro-fracture in his knee, which is similar to what Luke Gale had.
“He’ll be having that done tomorrow and the potential recovery time is between four and six months so he could be back in June or July depending on how he recovers.”
Castleford still have four half-backs at the club with the recent signing from Huddersfield of Jordan Rankin, who has started the season alongside Super League Young Player of the Year Jake Trueman.
They also have the experienced Ben Roberts in reserve along with former Sheffield half-back Cory Aston who has impressed in pre-season.