Batley Bulldogs have suffered an injury blow as they prepare for tomorrow’s Heavy Woollen derby away to Dewsbury Rams (kick off 7.30pm).
In-form centre Chris Ulugia has been ruled out for up to six weeks after breaking a hand during last week’s Challenge Cup victory over Whitehaven.
Ulugia has undergone surgery on the injury and with fellow centre Shaun Squires also still on the sidelines, coach John Kear is contemplating a move into the loan market, although that is unlikely to be until after Easter.
Kear said: “He (Ulugia) will be out for six weeks from the date of the operation.
“We’re also without Shaun Squires, so we have two centres missing at the moment. We will have a look at the loan market, but we have got to get through the Easter period.
“Shaun has a knee ligament problem and he’s been out since the Featherstone game, so he has missed five weeks already.
“We expect him back next month, probably around the same time as Chris, but until then we’ve got to make do.”
Batley go into tomorrow’s derby in excellent form and lying second in the Kingstone Press Championship table with four wins and a draw from their opening six matches.
It should be a cracking clash as Dewsbury are also in fine form and defeated Bradford Bulls 31-30 in a thrilling Challenge Cup tie last Friday.
Batley were made to work hard for their 37-36 cup win over Whitehaven and the sides meet for the second time in 10 days on Easter Monday.
Brad Day could come back into the reckoning after missing the Haven game with concussion, while Kear could have a selection poser at hooker.
James Davey came off the bench for his first appearance since the opening day of the season but Luke Blake has been in superb form at number nine.