Doncaster’s highly-rated scrum-half prospect Richard Wilkinson is facing at least six weeks on the sidelines following a cartilage operation.
It is the same knee that the Hull-based youngster had surgery on midway through last season and player-coach Paul Cooke is hoping that the second operation will resolve the problem.
“He’s had complications with the knee (following the initial operation) so that’s why the surgeon went back in again this week,” said Cooke.
With Danny Nicklas, who started last season first-choice scrum-half, only recently having resumed running after knee reconstruction surgery, it represents something of a dilemma for Cooke in the build-up to what is a testing start to the club’s Championship campaign.
“It’s really disappointing to lose Richard who was looking great for us at the back end of last season,” said Cooke, who formed one of the best half-back partnerships in the division with him during the successful 2014 campaign.
“He’s massive for us.
“He kicks the ball well, he carries it to the line and he causes problems for defences.
“We’ll have to come up with an alternative and we’ll decide on the best course of action over the next ten days.”
It could be that Cooke looks to make use of the dual-registration agreement with Hull FC.
Cooke is hoping that Kyle Kesik (ribs) and prop Russ Spiers (hamstring), who both missed Sunday’s final warm-up against Leeds, will be back in contention for the trip to the capital or at least the home game against Featherstone on February 22.