PROP Austin Bell has been handed a one match ban after admitting a charge of punching at an RFL disciplinary - but the York City Knights star could be out longer term.

The 22-year-old entered an early guilty plea for a Grade B punching offence following a fracas in the Championship One clash at Gloucestershire All Golds on June 8 and was penalised with the suspension - ruling him out of the trip to South Wales Scorpions on Saturday afternoon.

Knights chief Gary Thornton has revealed, however, that Bell would not have played anyway after picking up an ankle sprain in the win over Gateshead Thunder last weekend.

“Austin has been very good for us but has picked up a nasty ankle injury,” he explained. “It’s a really bad sprain and he could be out for a number of weeks.

“He’s missing with the ban but there could be further complications by this ankle injury. I have seen some sprains in the past that have taken longer to heal than breaks. Any ligament damage takes time.

“Hopefully it won’t be as bad as we envisage but it is too early to tell. I don’t think it will be less than two or three weeks.”