Pack crunch has York City Knights lining up a new recruit

York Press: Jack Iley touches down to score a try against Oxford. Jack Iley touches down to score a try against Oxford.

YORK City Knights are hoping to bolster their pack power in time for Sunday's showdown with arch-rivals Hunslet following the injuries to Lee Paterson and Jack Iley.

There has been mixed news from the treatment room with veteran loose-forward Paterson's knee injury seemingly not as bad as first feared, but with the luckless Iley facing a much lengthier spell on the sidelines than expected.

Either way, the Knights needed reinforcements in the back row given Jason Golden's uncertain future, and head coach Gary Thornton was optimistic a player with Championship pedigree would soon be signing at Huntington Stadium.

"We have some irons in the fire," he confirmed. "With Jason's future unknown and with Lee and Jack both now ruled out for a while, we need extra strength in depth. It's a good time to bring someone in."

Head coach Gary Thornton hopes props Iain Morrison, Austin Bell and Nathan Freer could all be okay for this weekend's top-of-the-table humdinger after illness and injury, but fellow front-rower Nathan Harper, a late withdrawal from Sunday's narrow defeat at Oldham due to a virus, is likely to remain laid low.

Paterson and Iley, though, join Golden, who is out with recurring shoulder trouble, and young hooker Harry Carter, who is needing further tests after taking a bang on the hand he recently fractured, on the treatment table.

Paterson, 32, dislocated a kneecap against Oldham with immediate fears that potential ligament damage could sideline him long enough to effectively end his career.

However, early tests suggest the damage is only slight and he could be back in action in a month.

Iley, however, also injured a knee and early diagnosis suggests major ligament damage and potentially the end of his season. Iley. who turns 24 next week, has already had elbow, head and ankle injuries this year, making for a stop-start term.

Thornton was majorly relieved over Paterson but gutted for Iley.

"Lee isn't as bad as first feared," he said. "It's settled down quickly and the physios are fairly confident there's no real ACL damage and he's looking at three, four, maybe five weeks out. It seems it was a partial dislocation not a full one and it's not impacted on the main ligament.

"It's a big relief as we're quite stretched at the moment and to lose Lee for the season would have been a major blow.

"It's not good news on Jack Iley, though. He's got to go for scans but it's not looking good. We've been told it could be his season.

"We were going to play him at hooker (on Sunday) but he went on at loose-forward (for Paterson) and was doing well. He's had such an unlucky time. I feel for the lad. It seems every time he plays he picks up a different injury, starting with the elbow injury he picked up in the friendly against Castleford."

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