Miller sweating on Cooke after Cup semi-final loss

Dons Stand off Paul Cooke breaks free from Featherstone Ian Hardman to score the Dons 3rd try  ,Picture: Howard Roe
Dons Stand off Paul Cooke breaks free from Featherstone Ian Hardman to score the Dons 3rd try ,Picture: Howard Roe

Doncaster Dons chief Tony Miller is sweating on the fitness of star man Paul Cooke after his injury in the Northern Rail Cup semi-final defeat.

The Dons suffered a double blow in their 32-10 defeat to Sheffield Eagles at Doncaster Athletics Stadium, as Cooke was replaced with a serious-looking injury.

Miller later confirmed that Cooke had damaged his ankle - and is eagerly awaiting the result of a scan to fully assess the extent of the damage.

“He’s rolled his ankle,” Miller, whose side host Leigh on Sunday, revealed.

“Hopefully, it will only be a sprain and not too serious.

“But we’ll just have to wait until next week. I would have thought he is a doubt for our next game but I am not sure of the severity of it.”

Miller could be handed a boost by the return of Kyle Kesik, who has returned to training following his injury.

“Kyle may be back by next week,” the Dons chief added.

“We could do with him, of course, but it’s still too early to say for sure.”

Reflecting on the semi-final, Miller said: “When Sheffield scored a couple of tries after half-time, in effect the game was over.

They played the conditions better; in the first half there was a very strong wind and I felt we gave ourselves too much to do.

There wasn’t a lot between the forwards but Sheffield had a little more quality and the X-Factor on the fringes and deserved the win.”

The Dons now face three home matches in the month of July, and can focus entirely on their Championship survival after their cup exit.

“I’m not happy to be out of the cup - we’ve just lost in a semi-final after all,” Miller said.

“It was a nice distraction while it lasted - we don’t often get an opportunity to play for a final, and we wanted to win it.

“It’s more important for us to stop in this league, but if we’d got to the final it could have been a nice boost.

“Getting this far did give us a boost, but it caused problems for us too.

“We have matches to fit in midweek now, and we picked up a couple of injuries too.

“Now we have 10 games left, seven at home, and we have to pick up some wins to make sure we stay in the division.”