HUDDERSFIELD Giants have two more casualties to add to their growing injury list.
Head coach Nathan Brown has confirmed winger Martin Aspinwall has been ruled out for up to a month with a torn calf muscle, while back-row forward Andy Raleigh is out for two weeks with a finger dislocation.
The news on Raleigh is brighter than first feared, with early reports suggesting the 27-year-old may have suffered a compound fracture.
But Raleigh’s absence means there are now five members of the club’s senior Super League squad on the treatment table and unable to be considered for Saturday’s trip to Castleford Tigers.
Raleigh and Aspinwall join Eorl Crabtree (hamstring), Simon Finnigan (knee) and Shaun Lunt (back) on the injured list, and Brown admits it’s testing the strength of his squad.
“We’re definitely going through our fair share of heartache on the injury front, but so are others clubs as well,” said Brown.
“There’s no doubt it’s going to test the quality of our squad, but I believe we’re more than capable of overcoming this number of losses and will continue to be competitive.
“And even though we’ve now lost another of our main back-rowers in Andy (Finnigan is the other), the news on him is encouraging.
“Initially, we did fear he could be out for a fair amount of time, so to be told he should be back in a couple of weeks is as good as we could have hoped.
“Unfortunately, Aspy’s going to be a bit longer, which is disappointing for everyone, and we’ll use the next couple of days to work out which combination will be best to cover for his loss.”
Although the Giants’ main focus this week is on Saturday’s trip to the Jungle for another clash in front of the Sky TV cameras, attentions will tonight turn to the Carnegie Challenge Cup.
The fourth round draw, which includes the Giants and the other 13 Super League clubs, is due to be broadcast live on BBC Radio Five Live at around 8pm.