Veteran Castleford Tigers prop Andy Lynch is facing up to three months on the sidelines after being hurt in last week’s defeat by St Helens.
Lynch, 36, is the oldest player in First Utility Super League and his absence is a major blow to Castleford ahead of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup sixth round tie at home to Salford Red Devils.
“He has had a syndesmosis and a break of his fibula,” coach Daryl Powell confirmed.
“It is not a great injury. He had an operation [on Wednesday] and he’ll be out for 10-12 weeks.
“He will be back this year.”
Powell added: “He has been an ever-present, such a pivotal figure for us.
“On the back of Michael Shenton being out for a significant part of the season, this is a bit of a blow.
“We know there’s a number of players in our middle unit who are going to need to step up and I look forward to that this week.”
Larne Patrick, Junior Moors, Luke Dorn and Jake Webster have all recovered from injury and are back in contention for Saturday’s tie.