Dons hit by Nicholson injury setback

Matt Nicholson
Matt Nicholson
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Doncaster RLFC prop Matt Nicholson has been ruled out of Sunday’s final home game of the regular season against lowly Hemel Stags.

And there are fears that Nicholson could also miss the crucial game at Rochdale on Sunday week, which the Dons are likely to need to win to retain fourth spot, and possibly the start of the play-off campaign.

“He seemed to twist his knee and had to be helped off and it was sore earlier in the week,” said head coach Gary Thornton, who was due to check up on the player at last night’s training session.

Thornton admits it would be a setback to the club’s prospects of making an immediate return to the Championship - especially as fellow prop Makali Aizue is having to be ‘nursed’ throughout the week – were the injury to lead to a lay-off.

“It would be a massive blow,” said Thornton.

“Matt is one of our most experienced forwards and was outstanding in the first half at London and he really got us on the front foot.

“Both he and Mark Castle, in particular, were very good for us going forward in what was a very physical game against a big London side.

“Matt was taking the ball in two or three times in every set and Mark did the same when he came off the bench.

“They both took a lot of the pressure off the more junior players.”

Aizue is set to return on Sunday after being rested last weekend because of London Skolars’ 4G pitch.

He is expected to have surgery on his troublesome knee at the end of the season.