Hastings & Bexhill could be without one of their flankers for the rest of the season.
Dan Hewitt dislocated his kneecap during the 27-13 victory at home to Whitstable on Saturday and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with ligament damage.
H&B head coach Kevin Smith said: “He’s a very experienced player and I suspect we won’t see him playing for us again this season. He made the tackle and landed awkwardly. The ground is so unforgiving, it was bound to happen.”
The rugby club’s injury woes certainly don’t stop there, however, because H&B were also this week anxiously awaiting feedback on an ankle injury to captain Paul Sandeman, who was in hospital on Wednesday.
Joe Umpleby - the third H&B player to leave the field during the opening half-hour at the weekend - has a bruised shoulder, but is expected to return for the league game at Cranbrook next weekend.
The same applies to Rod Luff, who has a trapped nerve in the neck/shoulder area. Lewis Sealy is awaiting an MRI scan on his knee after x-rays proved inconclusive. He is doing light training, but no contact work.
One piece of good news is that Ashley Diedericks is due to have a run-out with the seconds tomorrow (Saturday) in their Sussex Vase tie away to Crowborough thirds.
Bearing in mind all the injury problems, it’s probably a good thing that the front side has a free weekend for the first time this season after opponents Plumpton pulled out of the scheduled Sussex Shield quarter-final.
The walkover puts H&B through to a semi-final away to Newick or Rye on February 11. The Sussex One rivals were due to meet tomorrow, but Newick’s London & SE Junior Vase tie takes precedence.