Castleford Tigers stand-off Ben Roberts is due to undergo surgery on a foot injury and will miss the rest of the season.
Roberts was hurt in Tigers’ defeat at St Helens on March 4 and was sidelined for 10 matches before making his comeback in last Saturday’s Magic Weekend win over Warrington Wolves.
But he limped off before half-time after suffering a recurrence of the injury and will undergo an operation on Wednesday.
“He is gone for the year,” coach Daryl Powell confirmed.
“He needs an operation on his foot. We tried to rest his foot and get him back out there, but unfortunately he’s not right.
“He’ll have his operation tomorrow and hopefully that will be the end of it.
“It’s a long recovery procedure, but that is what it is and there is not much we can do about it.”
Explaining the nature of the injury, Powell said: “He has ruptured the tendons that attach some of the bones in his foot together.
“It has been a tough season for Ben, he started the year in outstanding form and then the St Helens game was the turning point for him.
“He has been in a lot of pain and tried to get back on his feet, but he’s just been unable to do it.
“There’s obviously been a severe weakness in the foot for it to rupture like it has.
“In some ways it will be less frustrating for him now, as he’s been constantly trying to get himself back on the field.”
Ryan Hampshire, who is on a season-long loan from Wigan Warriors, has been included in Tigers’ initial 19-man squad to face his parent club at the Jungle on Thursday.
Lee Jewitt, Will Maher and Larne Patrick are also hoping for a recall, with Nathan Massey being the other player to drop out from last weekend’s team.
Of his options at stand-off, Powell said: “Paul McShane has filled in and done a really good job in that position this year and Grant Millington has done a job as well.
“They’ve even had to play as a combination at times so it has been slightly different.
“It’s not an authentic half-back partnership, but Paul McShane has shown he has the capacity to handle it and he’s been great for us.
“Ryan Hampshire is fine and he’s in the squad. There’s potential for him to play.”