Widnes hooker Thomas Coyle will face several months on the sidelines after breaking his left leg in an academy game at the weekend.
Coyle, 23, was the Vikings’ Player of the Year last season, and had impressed coach Denis Betts in pre-season training.
The former Wigan and Oldham man was injured in a tackle after breaking through the line, and the club confirmed he had suffered a compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula.
A club statement read: “Coyle underwent surgery to the injury on Sunday and the Vikings are confident of a complete recovery which might take a few months.
“The club and its supporters wish Thomas a speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing him in a Vikings shirt in the not too distant future.”
The Under 20s game with Wakefield at the Stobart Stadium was abandoned following the injury, with Widnes leading 26-6, a result that which will stand.