AUSSIE ace Chris Nero is a major doubt for Huddersfield Giants' crunch Super League clash at Widnes in Sunday.
Fresh from writing off props Mick Slicker (broken thumb) and Eorl Crabtree (leg abscess) for the season, coach Jon Sharp looks like being without consistent second row Nero for the Halton Stadium showdown (3.00).
The 6ft 2in 23-year-old, who has missed just one match since signing from Sydney club St George in the close-season, has failed to respond to treatment on a dead leg.
He also suffered a cut under his chin in Sunday's 29-12 home defeat by Castleford which needed stitches.
That was Huddersfield's fifth straight defeat, and victory in Cheshire is vital if Sharp's hopes of leading his side to a first Super League play-off appearance are to remain on course.
Huddersfield are seventh, level on 20 league points with Wakefield, who occupy the final play-off berth and have a better points difference.
Widnes have become embroiled in a relegation battle, and are just two points above basement side Castleford with five rounds remaining.
"We'll be facing a team who are as desperate to win as Castleford were, and we have to show the same hunger," said Sharp, who was forced to play Ben Roarty, normally a second row, at prop against Castleford.
Ironically Matthew Whittaker, who would have been an option to bring into the second row, is currently out on loan - at Widnes!
Whittaker, who has also been loaned to Halifax this season, has figured in all three matches since moving to Widnes and is free to face his permanent employers on Sunday.