Young prop forward Eddie Battye is facing a challenge to cement his place in the Sheffield Eagles team.
Battye forced his way into the starting line-up last season playing 18 games but was injured only minutes into the Eagles Grand Final victory over Batley.
The 22-year-old from Oxspring is a major doubt for the start of the new season following surgery on ligaments in his left foot.
“I’ve had the pot off and I just want to get fit and be playing again as soon as I can,” he said.
Battye is one of a trio of forwards who could miss the kick-off in February with the 2014 fixtures released on Monday. Eagles fans are hoping for a big game to mark their return to Owlerton Stadium.
Prop Liam Higgins is rebuilding his fitness after missing the Grand Final with a knee injury and back rower Duane Straugheir has a hernia that is causing concern.
Straugheir can also play at centre and with the loss of Tom Armstrong to Leigh it leaves the Eagles lacking cover in the backs.
“It’s been a short break since the Grand Final in September and a few of the lads have problems that we are monitoring,” said coach Mark Aston. “I’ve brought in a couple of props in Ben Jones and Jack Blagbrough so we’ve got cover up front.”