LEEDS RHINOS head coach Brian McDermott admits the club has lost a “very important player” after Mitch Achurch was told he could be sidelined until the end of August.
The Australian forward was injured against Wigan Warriors at Magic Weekend and faces an operation tomorrow.
He is one of a raft of players sidelined as the Super League leaders head to the competition’s bottom club Wakefield Trinity on Sunday.
“Mitch is looking like a wrist op,” said McDermott, about the 26-year-old.
“He’ll have surgery Friday and be missing 10 weeks so we might be getting one or two back but we lose a very important player for us in Mitch.
“We are going through a bit at the moment but it’s the nature of the game.”
Centre Joel Moon serves a one-game ban while England full-back Zak Hardaker has not recovered from the ankle injury suffered in the loss to Wigan either.
“Zak’s not great,” added McDermott.
“It’s not mega serious and he has a chance for Castleford next week but obviously not this.
“If not Cas (next Thursday), he should be right for the week after.
“Brett Delaney and Jamie Jones-Buchanan probably won’t play as they have been carrying hamstrings for a number of weeks.
“In an ideal world we would have stood them down for a two week period to get over that but it’s not an ideal world as we’re missing some bodies.
“Kylie Leuluai’s not available - he could be for Cas - and Tommy Briscoe’s not far off, maybe three weeks which is a real positive for him.
“But I don’t care who plays for us - we still have to make sure we play well.”
Wakefield have lost their last 13 successive league games but will have noted Leeds, along with their selection issues, are out of form themselves with just one league win in five.
McDermott added: “Wakefield will click eventually and we have to make sure it’s not against us.
“We need to be disciplined. There is a bit of pressure on us. It is a tricky fixture - zero pressure on Wakefield - which makes for an interesting fixture.”