YORK City Knights have received a huge boost on the eve of their derby clash at arch-rivals Hunslet - hooker Harry Carter is less than a month away from a possible return to action.

Crowd favourite Carter was expected to be out for the season after suffering a knee injury in the Challenge Cup third round tie at Askam back in February.

However, a third opinion from medics has concluded the ligament damage is not as serious as previously thought, and head coach James Ford expects the lively dummy-half to be ready for a recall by the end of May.

It is a particularly timely boost after scoring sensation Kieren Moss and Carter's fellow hooker, Aaron Smith, were recalled by their respective parent clubs, Hull KR and St Helens.

Said Ford: "It's fantastic news for Harry and for me and for the club.

"We're very hopeful he will play within the month. The issue is getting him back to the same fitness levels as everyone else so he will spend time with the conditioning team and really focus on that."

The initial diagnosis after Carter suffered the injury was that he had probably sprained the medial collateral ligament. However, medics then concluded he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament - a much worse injury - with Ford describing it as a "huge blow for everyone".

However, when the hooker - now the Knights' longest-serving player having come through the old youth system - was being lined up for an operation, the surgeon, questioning that second diagnosis, recommended a further scan and this one showed it wasn't the ACL after all.

Said explained: "Harry went back for a scan as the surgeon that looked at it wasn't overly happy with the previous interpretation. It seems it's another ligament in the knee which is less serious."