DONCASTER DONS: Paul Cooke set to miss Dons-Workington semi-final

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DONS’ star Paul Cooke has been ruled out of Sunday’s Championship One Play-Off semi-final against Workington Town at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Depending on the results of a second scan on the kneecap he injured in the first minute of Sunday’s 22-20 defeat by Barrow, Cooke could also miss the final at Warrington on Sunday week.

Cooke had an X-ray at Hull Royal in the early hours of Monday morning which appeared to show that he had cracked his kneecap. But a subsequent scan was at odds with the diagnosis and a second one was arranged.

Even if the results of the second scan are favourable, Dons’ boss Tony Miller said it was unlikely that Cooke, whose knee is badly swollen, would be available for the final were they to get there.

“Depending on what the results of the second scan are we’ll not make a decision on Paul until next week if we are in the final,” said Miller.

He admits that the loss of Cooke is a big blow to the club’s hopes of winning their first ever championship title.

“There is never a good time for players to get injured and this has come at a bad time in relation to the play-offs, but you are always going to get players picking up injuries in a sport like rugby,” he said.

“Obviously Paul is a key man and had he not been injured we’d have won on Sunday.

“The only consolation is that we’ve got more time to prepare for Sunday’s game and come up with a different game-plan to beat Workington, whereas against Barrow we were a bit disrupted.”

With leading try-scorer Lee Waterman lacking the consistency of Cooke as goal-kicker this season, Miller is set to recall winger Tom Hodson.

Set to link-up Featherstone Rovers, Hodson was the first-choice kicker prior to breaking his thumb.