Leigh Leopards have been hit by an injury to playmaker Joe Mellor that could see the halfback missing the opening month of the Super League season.
Leigh have returned to the top flight after winning promotion from the Championship.
The Leopards are aiming to change history and beat the drop straight back to the second division, but will have to do without veteran Mellor for the first few rounds.
While it is unclear what the injury to the former Widnes man is, sources indicate he may be sidelined for between four to six weeks.
Mellor joined Leigh at the end of 2020 from Toronto Wolfpack.
The 32-year-old played in the Million Pound Game at the end of last year in the victory over Batley that sealed the Leopards’ promotion.
— Leigh Leopards (@LeighRLFC_) February 11, 2023
Mellor, who can play at scrum-half or stand-off, started his career at Wigan in 2011 and has had spells with London, the Vikings and the Wolfpack.
The playmaker did not feature in Leigh’s pre-season friendly loss to Warrington on Sunday, February 5.
Leigh kick off the 2023 Super League season at home to Salford Red Devils on Friday, February 17.