Preview: Hunslet Hawks v Doncaster RLFC
Dons prop Matt Nicholson had hoped to be leading from the front in the club's League One Super 8s campaign.
Instead his involvement will be mainly restricted to cheering his team-mates on from the sidelines after a scan last week revealed he had suffered another career-threatening knee injury.
“It was obviously disheartening when I got the news because it had been thought that it was a cartilage injury,” said the 24-year-old forward, who was injured in the hard-fought win at London Skolars in late June.
Having suffered a similar torn cruciate in his other knee whilst playing for Featherstone, Nicholson knows just how much hard work is ahead of him once he’s had his reconstruction operation.
Although he says he will take time out to reflect on his future, he says he is not looking at hanging up his boots just yet. In fact, he is already missing the game.
“I’d love to have been out there but it’s just a case of getting behind the lads and helping out in any way I can,” he said following Sunday’s 40-12 defeat at home to an in-form Barrow side.
The defeat could have serious implications for the club’s hopes of finishing in the top five at the end of the Super 8s campaign and thereby qualifying for the play-offs.
“I’m not one to make excuses but the fact that we had both half-backs out didn’t help our cause and you could see that without Jordie Hedges and Jordan Howden we lacked a bit of organisation,” said Nicholson.
“We needed both of them to be out there because Barrow are a very good team.
“I’m still hopeful that we can challenge for a top two spot, although obviously today’s results haven’t helped and we’ve also picked up another couple of injuries. But while ever there is a mathematical chance of us finishing second we’ve got to go for it.
“We’ve got another tough game coming up at Hunslet on Friday and whilst I wouldn’t say at this stage that it’s a must-win game we obviously need to get back on the horse as quickly as we can.”