Rotherham Titans have suffered a pre-Christmas blow after winger Curtis Wilson was ruled out for most of the season with a broken ankle.
Wilson is unlikely to play again this term dislocated and fractured his ankle just five minutes into the defeat to Moseley in the British and Irish Cup on Sunday.
One of the Championship’s most dangerous attackers, Wilson required lengthy treatment on the pitch at Clifton Lane before being taken to hospital by ambulance.
The Titans have lost four games in a row and are effectively out of the B&I Cup after suffering three defeats.
It means attention has turned fully to the Championship, starting with Sunday’s derby clash with Yorkshire Carnegie at Headingley.
Forwards coach Steve Salvin says victory over their Yorkshire rivals – whom they trail by 27 points – would provide a timely boost.
Salvin said: “It would be a massive boost to us emotionally if we are able to win at Leeds and if we get a couple of good results you are back in contention for a place in the top four.
“We are doing some things well, but not all the time, and we lack consistency in our execution.
“We will continue to struggle if we go on making individual errors and we have to improve in every single area.
“But we went through a poor patch last season and we recovered.
“We are a bit down, but there’s no point in moping and you’ve got to fight your way out.
“It could be our saving grace going out of the B&I Cup.
“We’ve got experience in the side to come through this and against Moseley, although we lost, there was a lot of fight and there certainly was not a lack of effort or application.”
Tim Cree is expected to return to the Titans squad for Sunday’s game while hooker Jack Preece may be fit after time out with a neck injury.