YORK City Knights remain without four key players through coronavirus-related issues ahead of Saturday's trip to Featherstone Rovers (6pm).

Head coach James Ford has confirmed that outside backs Kieran Dixon and Jason Bass, full-back Aidan McGowan and forward Marcus Stock will all remained sidelined, with the former three all contracting coronavirus and the latter being a close contact.

The foursome were ruled out just a day before York's victory over Widnes Vikings last weekend and will unavailable once again as the Knights continue to plough through the season with players missing amid the pandemic.

"Stocky is a close contact so I think he'll be the first one back available," said Ford.

"As we've seen from other blokes coming out of isolation where they've missed training, it can take them a little bit of time to get back up to speed.

"If their load jumps up too high too quickly there's a chance of injury. We've got to manage the situation as best we can and hopefully we can them back as soon as possible."

York have though recalled James Green, Liam Salter and Ryan Atkins to their 21-man squad after the trio completed their return-to-play protocols.

However Ford warned: "As we've seen across society, Covid affects different people to different degrees.

"At least one of those will be in the 17 this week, but it might take a little bit longer for the other two."

On the injury front, as expected, Danny Kirmond misses out on a visit to the club he began his career at in Featherstone. The forward picked up a low grade hamstring injury against Widnes.

Ford said: "He's already started his running rehab so I don't see him being out for too long. But as we've seen with Kriss (Brining), Stocky and Brendan, they can be a little bit more tricky than initially assessed."

Kirmond may well be replaced by Adam Cuthbertson, who returns to the squad after missing out last week with a knock.

"He had a sore knee which he injured up at Whitehaven," Ford said.

"He needed to do a little bit more rehab, he's available for selection this week and he's trained well so far."

Arguably York's biggest injury quandary surrounds Brendan O'Hagan. He highlighted his quality with a hat-trick of tries and two assists against Widnes.

But the half-back's kicking was limited during the game - a conscious decision by York - and he is continuing to work towards full fitness after several weeks on the sidelines with hamstring and quad problems.

"It's going to be a process," admitted Ford. "He missed all of pre-season with injury then he's had a couple of injuries in the season.

"As our strength and conditioning coach would look at it, he's probably not where he needs to be physically.

"But as anybody in the ground (on Sunday) could testify, he's absolutely central to our chances of succeeding this year.

"I was delighted to get him back out there, he's trained well again this week and I'm looking forward to including him at the weekend."

Danny Washbrook is also back in the York squad along with Atkins, Green and Cuthbertson. Dixon, McGowan, Kirmond and Stock drop out.

Elsewhere, Ford confirmed that young trio AJ Towse, Myles Harrison and Toby Warren have returned to York after their successful one-week loans at Rochdale Hornets.

"I've watched the game and I'm really pleased with how all three played," said the coach. "They showed the potential that we believe that they've got.

"They're going in the right direction and if they keep working hard - as I know they will - then it won't be too long before we see them playing for York."

York City Knights squad: Marsh, Salter, Atkins, O’Hagan, R. Dixon, Jubb, Teanby, Clarkson, Scott, Cuthbertson, Brining, Baldwinson, Green, Spears, Whiteley, Jones-Bishop, Washbrook, Dow-Nikau, Johnson, McDonnell, Hall.