Wakefield Trinity's Craig Huby is set to undergo surgery on a dislocated shoulder which could rule him out for up to four months.
Head coach Chris Chester confirmed Wakefield's worst fears after Huby was withdrawn from the clash against St Helens eight days ago.
The 32-year-old forward will likely need to undergo shoulder reconstruction which would rule him out for at least three months.
"He [Huby] goes to see the specialist again at the back end of this week but it’s looking like surgery," confirmed Chester.
"That could mean three to four months out of action and we’d just got him back from a knee issue and we lost him again.
"It’s hard on Chubbs [Huby] and it really hurt us that interchange [against St Helens] as he’d only played I think 10 minutes."
The news comes as a blow to Chester who has already lost Tyler Randell to a long-term injury.
But Chester insists there are still plenty of options for Trinity ahead of Thursday's Super League clash with Catalans Dragons.
"We gave Keegan Hirst and Jordan Crowther a hit-out at the weekend in the reserves game and I thought both those two were excellent," he added.
"One of those two will play this weekend as a direct replacement for Chubs.
"Who it is yet I’m not too sure but they both did exceptionally well in that reserve game.
"We’re fortunate in that we have some really good competition for places there."
Danny Kirmond was also forced off in the clash with St Helens, but Chester admitted that the second-rower could still feature on Thursday.
He said: "We’ll make a call on him on Wednesday morning at the team-run.
"James Batchelor, again, we’ll make a call on him at the team-run.
"Pauli Pauli's been training but it might come a week too soon for him.
"We’ve lost Tyler and Chubbs and are down on a few numbers but we’ve a big enough squad to cover those four, five blokes that could potentially be missing."