DONCASTER DONS: Paul Cooke to miss the Dons title bid

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DONCASTER Rugby League Club star Paul Cooke faces six weeks with his knee in a brace after a second scan confirmed that he had fractured his knee cap in Sunday’s Championship One Play-Off clash against Barrow at the Keepmoat Stadium.

“The good news is that the fracture runs down his kneecap and not across it which we have been informed is better as far as the healing process goes,” said Dons’ boss Tony Miller. “Paul is obviously disappointed but he has got his head around it and expects to be fit by the time we report back for pre-season training.”

Despite various allegations that Cooke, the man who pulls the strings in the back division, had deliberately been targeted by the Cumbrians - Miller believes there was no intent after studying the video footage.

“The Barrow player got the ball to hang in the air from the kick-off and that gave him the chance to put a hit on Paul as he caught it,” he said. “But he got to Paul before the ball and there was a clash of knees.

“It was a foul as Paul was tackled without the ball but there was no intent to injure him and the Barrow player has apologised to him.”

Hooker Kyle Kesik, who took over from the former Super League star, is expected to start at half-back in Sunday’s semi-final against Workington Town on Sunday.

Miller, who has veteran back-rower Craig Lawton available after a one-match ban, will check on prop Mark Castle (dead leg) at tonight’s training session. The Dons squad will later attend the club’s annual Presentation Evening at the Keepmoat Stadium. Cooke is expected to attend the function where the Championship One League Leaders’ Shield will enjoy pride of place.