Doncaster half-back Danny Nicklas faces up to a year out of the game.
Nicklas, who formed an impressive half-back partnership with player-coach Paul Cooke after joining the club during the close season, is pencilled in for a knee reconstruction operation this month.
It had been hoped that Nicklas, who hasn’t played since being injured in the big defeat at Halifax in March, would play some part in the club’s run-in.
“When Danny first injured his knee we thought it was just a run-of-the-mill injury,” said Cooke.
“He had treatment and rehab and he came back but unfortunately it buckled under him at Halifax.
“We sent him for a scan and we’ve been waiting for the results.”
“We’ve done things as quickly as we could, but getting injured players scanned and expert medical opinion as soon as possible is something that we obviously need to look at as a club going forward.
“We are looking at private medical insurance for the players next season.”
The half-back will become the second Doncaster player this season to have the career-saving surgery.
Strong-running prop Brett Waller went ‘under the knife’ earlier this year after being injured in a pre-season friendly.
Former Hull FC youngster, Richard Wilkinson, who has impressed after being drafted into the side following Nicklas’s injury, is one of the players set to be offered a new deal for the 2015 season.
“He is a player with a lot of ability and he could go on to play at the top level if he changes his ways off the field in terms of lifestyle and proper nutrition a little bit,” added Cooke.