Centre Liam Welham will miss Hunslet Hawks’ Northern Rail Cup group campaign.
Coach Barry Eaton confirmed that Welham – who played against Doncaster two weeks ago but who missed last Sunday’s Leeds Brewery Lazenby Cup clash with Leeds Rhinos – has a knee problem which will require surgery.
“He has been to see a specialist,” said Eaton. “He will probably have an operation in the next two to three weeks.
“Hopefully it will just be a bit of a cartilage trim and stitch. After the operation it will be four or five weeks before he is back so he will miss the Northern Rail Cup, but hopefully he will be right come the start of the league season.”
Welham, pictured right, joined Hunslet in the off-season from Dewsbury Rams and has also played for Hull KR and Featherstone Rovers.
Eaton added: “Liam was one of our key signings. He came with good recommendations and has a good try-scoring record.
“But it gives an opportunity to someone else. Josh Nathaniel and Lee Brickwood have done a good job in the friendlies and shown good signs, so I am not too worried.”
Meanwhile, Eaton will rejig his side for Sunday’s final pre-season game at home to Widnes Vikings.
Dave Clayton, Matthew Harding, Scott Watson, Richard Blakeway, Sam Dalby, James Woods and Anthony Henderson will all feature after not playing against Rhinos.
Admission prices have been slashed to £10 for adults, £5 concessions and £3 for under-16s.
The Hunslet Independents Supporters’ Trust – which is set to take over the running of the club – appealed to the current owners for a price cut after fewer than 500 fans turned up last weekend, when adult admission cost £16.