RONAN MICHAEL is set for "another lengthy period on the sidelines" after suffering a concussion in a challenge that James Ford warranted "was a blatant red card".

Michael failed a head injury assessment during the first half of York City Knights' 36-10 defeat at Halifax Panthers on Monday night after clashing with opposing forward Jacob Fairbank from a goal-line drop-out.

Both players left the field for HIAs, although only Fairbank returned, with the Halifax back-rower going unpunished for the tackle.

The concussion for Michael is the latest blow he has suffered since being loaned to York from Betfred Super League side Huddersfield Giants at the start of the season, having missed more than three months with an ankle injury.

“It was a blatant red card," lamented Knights head coach Ford. "I’m absolutely astounded that it wasn’t picked up.

“It’s a 30-metre run-up to a one-on-one collision, where he’s tackled him in the head.

“He’s almost knocked his head out of Halifax into Huddersfield. He’s not good. He’s not allowed to drive, he’s heavily concussed and we’re going to have to send him to see a neurologist.

“That tackle was up there with what I’ve seen Adrian Morley come up with. There’s been some bad ones in his time.

“He’s got a lot of potential, so I feel for him. He’s come back off an injury and I thought that he was playing well. He’s going to have another lengthy period on the sidelines.”

Seeing Fairbank go unsanctioned frustrated Ford alongside a number of other decisions by the match officials at The Shay.

"There was a tip-tackle on Pauli (Pauli), he’s 130 kilos and he was dropped on his head," he said.

“There was a shoulder charge on Brendan O’Hagan in his back, there was a late tackle on Liam Harris in the back of his head and I thought there was really aggressive play from Halifax.

“If Zane Tetevano does it, he’s sent off. If James Bentley does it, he’s sent off. I don’t know how the officials missed it.”

As well as not being able to call upon Michael, York head into Monday night's crucial home meeting with fellow Betfred Championship play-off contenders Batley Bulldogs (7.45pm) without Matty Marsh, who was stood down for a fortnight last week under precautionary medial advice.

“Marshy won’t be available," confirmed Ford. "It’s a bit frustrating. It’s taken a little bit of time to get him in for these tests, then we need to wait for the results.”

There is also a concern over another playmaker, in Jamie Ellis, who hobbled off with what appeared to be a knee injury in the Halifax defeat after 65 minutes.

“We didn’t do an awful lot on Tuesday because we played on Monday, so it was a recovery session," reported the head coach.

“I’ll get a little bit more information tonight (Thursday) as to how Jamie is. Hopefully he’ll be ok.”

Will Oakes will also be assessed with a view to a potential return against Batley. The winger has played just nine times for York since his off-season return to the club from Dewsbury Rams amid his osteitis pubis issue.

"It an inflammation disorder so it can flare up a little bit and it was too sore around his groin for him to play against Halifax," said Ford.

“We’ll see how he is this week. With that said, I thought AJ Towse was excellent again on Monday. I’m absolutely delighted with the progress that he’s made this season.”

Ford also gave a positive update on hooker Tom Inman, whose two-week loan from Warrington Wolves has expired.

“We’re working on it but I think he probably will (stay)," said Ford, when asked about the yet-to-debut Inman. "I’ve liked a lot of what I’ve seen from Tom. He’s a player with lots of energy, a great attitude and he ticks an awful lot of boxes.

“He’s very keen to keep on improving in one or two areas in his game. It’d be a tough ask for Will Jubb to play 80 minutes in 31 degrees heat, so Tom may make his debut.”