YORK City Knights forward Joe Porter has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after sustaining an ACL injury.

Porter was forced off early in York’s 28-26 defeat to Newcastle Thunder at the LNER Community Stadium earlier this month and the scan has revealed that the injury is serious and long-term.

The former York Acorn amateur, who has played nine times this year for the Knights, has become the second York player to suffer an ACL blow this year after half-back Morgan Smith.

Knights head coach James Ford said: “It is a massive blow. Joe always gives an abundance of energy and effort regardless of the position he plays.

“To lose that is a kick in the teeth. Joe is a strong guy and I’m sure we’ll see him bounce back from it.

“We’re all gutted for him. He’s been at the club for a few years now and we’ve built up a strong relationship.”

Porter’s absence is one of many for York this weekend as the club continues to battle through coronavirus-related issues.

Ford said that, under the Rugby Football League’s protocols, the Knights could have postponed Sunday’s game against Swinton Lions (3pm) given the high numbers in their camp.

“Riley Dean has Covid as have Ryan Atkins, Liam Salter, James Green and Ben Jones-Bishop,” said Ford.

“Then in isolation we’ve got Brendan O’Hagan, Jordan Baldwinson and Danny Washbrook.

“But, at this minute in time, we’ve got three hookers to pick from and two half-backs. So I think it’s one of the strongest positions we’ve been in this season despite missing all those players with Covid-related issues.

“We can play the game that we want to play this weekend. We’ve got two halves this week, so of course we want to play,” he laughed.

The Knights have also brought in Warrington Wolves youngster Jacob Gannon on loan, but he too has tested positive, delaying his York debut. Gannon - the son of Jim, whom Ford played with at Widnes - has also been coached by Ford in the England set-up.

Ford added: “He’s a skilful ball-playing middle and he’s got the potential to be a really good player. He’s a great kid to boot.”

York are not the only side to have been plagued by coronavirus concerns. Across rugby league's three professional tiers, a number of games have been postponed this weekend.

“It is worrying,” conceded Ford. “Covid cases do seem to be increasing in society and naturally you’re going to see that creep into sport, despite the mitigation.

“Do I feel like some teams are going to lose games to it? Yes, unfortunately.

“I don’t have the answers and I don’t know what the best plan is. All that we can do is focus on what we’re doing and do our very best to keep it out of our camp and prepare as well as we can.

“We want to play rugby league games and we want to bat on as much as we can.”

In better news for York, full-back Matty Marsh is set for a recall this weekend after contracting coronavirus. York’s player of the year in 2019 was ruled out of the trip to Wembley last weekend due to being in isolation.

He is in line for a return at half-back alongside Hull Kingston Rovers loanee Mikey Lewis.

“It’s a massive boost to bring in Matty because we’ve missed him enormously when he hasn’t played,” admitted Ford.

“I think Matty is a really good full-back and also a really good half-back so he gives us options in the spine, where we’ve been limited at times this year. To get Matty back is a massive boost.”

Leeds Rhinos loanees Corey Johnson and Corey Hall are eligible for selection this weekend.

York: Marsh, Bass, K Dixon, R Dixon, Jubb, Teanby, Clarkson, Scott, Cuthbertson, Brining, Baldwinson, Stock, Kirmond, Spears, Whiteley, Towse, Harrison, Warren, Dow-Nikau, Johnson, Lewis, Hall.

Swinton: Brogan, J Brown, T Brown, Buckley, Butt, Cox, Doyle, Green, Gregson, Hansen, Heyes, Hope, Jones, Meadows, Michael, Nash, Roberts, Spencer, Steele, Waterworth.