Wakefield Trinity have just 17 available players for Friday’s game with Wigan after two of their players tested positive for Covid-19.
The cases have resulted in an additional nine players being stood down as a result of the track and trace protocols leaving Trinity down to the bare bones.
Chris Chester’s side, who are bottom of Super League and have lost six straight games since lockdown, have already been badly affected by Covid-19 withdrawals already this season.
Several players were due to return this week after an initial self-isolation period though some may now have to stand down for another fortnight.
Trinity had only named an initial 20-man squad anyway due to a shortage of players. But only 16 of them were available after the track and trace and has forced Matty Ashurst to be called into the squad despite not training.
“It’s hard work, you prepare for a game on a Friday and half your team gets pulled from beneath your feet,” Chester said.
“Last night we had 16 players and last night I had to me call Matty Ashurst and ask if he can come to the team run.”
It means several of the senior players set to return this week are not unavailable.
“It doesn’t take a genius to look at this week’s squad, then last week’s to realise which players have had to be stood down.
“Like I said earlier, it just seems to be lingering within the playing group and we’ve got to somehow minimise that risk and try and get rid of it. Whether that means a five-day total lockdown and just stay at home just to give this place a real deep clean. But if that’s what it takes then that’s what we’re going to need to do.”
Tom Johnstone will make his return but Liam Kay’s season appears over as he requires a shoulder AC reconstruction, while Eddie Battye has a minor knee injury.