Dons centre Liam Welham has been ruled out for the season after tearing a pectoral muscle.
With fellow centre Jason Tali still sidelined, Dons boss Gary Thornton is forced to turn to Aaron Jones-Bishop in tomorrow’s League One Super 8s clash against visiting Keighley.
“Although his previous appearances for the club have been on the wing, centre is his preferred position and he’s been pestering me all season about playing there so now he’s got the chance to show what he can do,” said Thornton.
The Dons will also lack veteran prop Makali Aizue, who in addition to a long-standing knee problem, is suffering from a foot injury.
“The good news is that second-rower Mason Tonks has been given clearance this week following his concussion and that gives me the chance to push Brad Nicholson into the front-row,” said Thornton. “We’ve also got scrum-half Jordie Hedges available again after a three-match ban.”
Hedges is expected to resume his half-back partnership with Jordan Howden.
Thornton said: “Keighley have probably under-performed given the quality in their squad and we are expecting a tough encounter – especially with it being a must-win game for them. If we beat them it’d put us in a very strong position regarding the play-offs as we’d be four points clear of them with a game in hand.”
Second-rower Mike Kelly is facing a long lay-off after being told this week he needs a knee reconstruction operation.
“I can’t believe the number of serious injuries we’ve had this season,” said Thornton.