Widnes centre Charly Runciman has been ruled out for “the next few weeks” with a throat injury.
Runciman, 24, was an ever present for the Vikings last season and has featured in their opening two games this campaign against Catalans and Castleford.
He will definitely miss this Friday’s game against Warrington. Widnes’ next three games see them host champions Leeds, travel to Wigan and then welcome Huddersfield to the Halton Stadium.
Coach Denis Betts told the club’s official website: “Unfortunately, Charly has been ruled out for the next few weeks.
“Having not missed a single game of last year, he’s obviously very disappointed, but his injury has created an opportunity for other players to now step up and prove themselves.”
The Vikings lost Runciman’s winger Patrick Ah Van after the first game with a broken arm, which will keep him sidelined for three months.
Ireland international centre Ed Chamberlain is also unavailable with a groin injury, which may see Chris Dean revert to the backs having started the season in the back-row.
Forwards Alex Gerrard and Gil Dudson are still out injured, as is winger Ryan Ince, while Lloyd White is sidelined through illness.
Betts added: “Everyone is fighting it out for their place in the team and the competition is driving the team forward. The likes of Danny Walker and Olly Ashall-Bott relished the chance that they had last weekend and are determined to keep their place for the big game.”