Castleford’s Ash Robson will be out for up to eight months after rupturing a kneecap.
The 20 year-old suffered the injury during the final minutes of the preseason friendly defeat to Bradford Bulls last Friday.
Tigers coach Daryl Powell said via Sky Sports: “Ash has had a rupture of his patella tendon which is obviously a really disappointing injury for him. He’s had the injury repaired now but the timescale for his return is up to eight months.
“It’s a long time out and obviously it’s really disappointing for Ash, who has been outstanding in pre-season, but unfortunately these things happen.
“His spirits seem to be okay at the moment and we’ll look forward now to giving him as much support as we can and getting him back training and then hopefully back on to the field as soon as possible.”
Robson, who had featured in all three of the Tigers’ preseason friendlies and made two first team appearances last season, said: “It is obviously disappointing for me, having enjoyed pre-season and more importantly the warm-up games. I’ll be working to ensure I come back strong from this injury.”