Huddersfield Giants forward Ukuma Ta’ai could miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
Ta’ai, who scored in the Giants’ defeat to Warrington last time out, hobbled off in the first half of the game.
Scans have confirmed damage to his lateral ligaments and he is due to see a specialist on Tuesday to determine the extent of the injury.
It comes as a blow to Giants’ coach Simon Woolford, with Joe Wardle and Aaron Murphy also in the treatment room.
“He’s had a scan and it hasn’t come back great,” Woolford said.
“It’s pretty banged up. He’s seeing a specialist on Tuesday, but it’s safe to say that he’s going to be out long-term. Whether it’s for the season or not, that’s going to depend on what the specialist has to say.
“It’s not ideal, particularly with what’s ahead of us with the fixture list. The fact we’ve had two close losses rather than two close wins means it really doesn’t help when you start losing bodies and all of a sudden we’ve got some backrowers on the sideline.”
That hasn’t put a dent in Woolford’s belief that his side can and will be competing at the top end of the table come the end of the season.
The Giants are fifth, four points behind leaders Wigan with a game in hand, leaving them in a competitive position despite back-to-back defeats.
“I think anyone who has watched the games understands that we’re in pretty good shape,” he said.
“On one side we had an unassailable lead, but we did lose some players in quick succession and didn’t deal with it well; then you look at the Warrington game and we still nearly got away with the game, despite everything that went against us.
“I believed at the start of the year we could compete at the top end of the table. Of course you need a bit of luck; we had a good run with those five games before the break and now we’ve had a bit of bad luck, but I think everyone can see clearly that we’re more than capable of being at the top end.”
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