Sheffield Eagles forward Duane Straugheir is set for an extended spell on the sidelines as he will have to undergo an operation.
The second-rower was withdrawn during the recent Challenge Cup defeat to Wakefield Wildcats with what was initially thought to be a concussion.
But scans revealed the 26-year-old had fractured his eye socket.
Any hopes of a quick return to action for the versatile operator look to have been dashed, with director of rugby Mark Aston confirming that Straugheir will be missing for “a number of weeks” as he is set to go under the surgeon’s knife.
“Duane is going to have an operation on his eye socket, so he is going to be out for a number of weeks,” Aston confirmed.
“We need some players in who will add to the group. This group has not been easy.”
Aston has been calling for fresh blood ever since the Easter Monday defeat at Dewsbury - a loss they avenged at home last Friday.
Despite being desperate to add to his squad, the Eagles chief has been frustrated over the past month as he seeks to bolster his threadbare ranks.
Only a fortnight ago he looked set to add two new faces from Super League, before injuries at the respective parent clubs kyboshed two potential loan switches.
With Straugheir set for a spell out and PNG winger Garry Lo unavailable because of a long-standing shoulder problem which he aggravated at Bradford, the pressure is on to add to the squad before the home clash with Workington Town a week on Saturday.
“Hopefully we can fetch a fresh face or two into the environment before the game with Workington,” Aston added.
“As I have said before, competition for places is key for me. I am not here to be easy. I am competitive and I want to win. I know that competition will keep the lads firmly on their toes. We need people in who can tread on some toes here and come into the group and say ‘Hey, I want your shirt’.
“We need to get that competitiveness because that brings the best out of people.”