Castleford Tigers will be without three more senior players when they take on Hull FC at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle tomorrow night.
Full-back Luke Dorn is ruled out with a facial wound that has required 20 stitches while forwards Matt Cook and Nathan Massey have both received one match bans for incidents in the win over Salford.
With Frankie Mariano and Lee Jewitt both still unavailable Cas are down to almost bare bones in the forwards, but they are hopeful prop Andy Lynch can return after a groin injury kept him out of the Salford match.
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell admitted it was a blow to lose the players after such a good display last week.
He told the Express: “Nathan Massey has been our best forward, he’s been superb this year. Matt Cook has been excellent for us as well, settling in early with us.
“Their loss makes us look skinny in the forward pack.
“We have got some cover, but we’d need a fair step up replacing people who are playing well. It’s going to be a challenge to a few players, people like Ryan Boyle and Steve Crossley, who’ve done all right so far, but we need them to do outstandingly well.
“Luke Dorn will be missing this week. He had 20 stitches in total so it’s a significant injury. It will be an opportunity for Jordan Tansey and we’ll see how he goes. He’s been pretty good this year and I expect him to step straight in there.
“We’ll check on Andy Lynch as we work through the week and hopefully he’ll be okay.
“We’re getting closer with Lee Jewitt and Frankie Mariano, but in terms of suspension and injuries it’s a significant total we’re going to be without this week.”
Powell was disappointed that Massey was charged for “reckless striking” on former team-mate Rangi Chase.
He said: “Nathan has been really unlucky. He obviously makes contact with Rangi, but Rangi slipped.
“It’s difficult when you think a player kicking the ball is going to be in a certain position then ends up in another one.
“There is contact, but I don’t think it’s worthy of a ban. I think it should have been penalty sufficient to be honest and hoped to be able to argue that.
“He has no previous record, which is incredible for a player who plays like he does in the middle of the field.”