Widnes Vikings winger Patrick Ah Van has been ruled out for three months with a broken arm.
The 29-year-old suffered the injury in the club’s victory over Catalans on Sunday and scans confirmed he had suffered a clean break.
It’s a cruel blow for the former Bradford star, who managed just six appearances last year following a serious injury and scored on his return against the Dragons.
Denis Betts said: “It’s the nature of the beast in sport, but you have got to feel sorry for Pat,”
“He’s worked hard to get himself in fantastic condition for the season ahead, and I believe he is in the best shape of his life. It is incredibly unfortunate that he has broken his arm in the first game of the season. It’s something you can’t account for, and it was just a clash between two players in a tackle.
“But when one door shuts, another one opens and this has presented opportunities for lads who are keen to get into the side for Sunday and to stay there. Ryan Ince is on his way back from injury and is only a couple of weeks away, Olly Ashall knows his responsibilities in that role and Ed Chamberlain has come out of the World Cup, so we’ve got lads who are keen and ready.
“As we have said previously, the door is not closed on further recruitment. With the continuing support of people signing up for Stronghold Memberships and investing in their team, we can explore opportunities to strengthen the squad.
“We know that Pat is determined to come back as soon as possible from this injury, and we are looking forward to his return.”