Castleford star Luke Gale has been sidelined for three months after fracturing his knee cap.
The 29-year-old suffered a tear in his patella tendon (knee) following a clash of knees with Pauli Pauli in their win over West Yorkshire rivals Wakefield Trinity last week.
The injury hurt when it first occurred to Gale, but he played on with it and it gradually became worse.
Castleford assistant coach Ryan Sheridan has revealed that Gale will be out for up to 12 weeks.
He told BBC Radio Leeds: “It is a massive blow for us and a massive blow for Galey but we have got to get on with it.
“Whoever plays in the halves has a big responsibility but there is massive responsibility for the whole team now.
“He has been to see the specialist and I would imagine that he is devastated. Whoever goes in the halves has got a job to do until we get him back, but he will be chomping at the bit to get back and he will get stuck into his rehab.
“It will be a challenging period for us but there is a shared responsibility across the team now.”
The Tigers have plenty of cover options for Gale though. Jake Trueman, Ben Roberts, Jamie Ellis, Paul McShane and Grant Millington can all play in the halves.
Castleford are confident that Gale can return sooner than expected, but he is likely to miss England’s mid-season Test against New Zealand in Denver on June 23.