HEAD coach James Ford has lauded York City Knights' medical and conditioning staff for helping in the speedy recovery of a number of star players for tomorrow's Good Friday clash at Featherstone.

The Knights were hit by an injury crisis ahead of the hectic Easter period in the Championship after six players limped out of last Saturday's Challenge Cup defeat at Widnes, joining a lengthy list already in the treatment room.

However, of those six, on-loan prop Jordan Baldwinson will play tomorrow (6pm) and hooker Kriss Brining will likewise feature if he overcomes a late fitness test on his calf injury.

Connor Robinson, Graeme Horne, Matty Marsh, Liam Salter and Jack Teanby, who missed the Widnes tie and remained doubtful for this weekend, are all also in the 19-man squad.

Captain Tim Spears - the former Featherstone skipper who lifted several trophies at Post Office Road - and Sam Scott also return after sitting out the cup game.

Ford said: "The medical staff and the conditioning team have done an incredible job to get these players available.

"Without them they would not have been available, so I want to point out their efforts and the efforts and attitudes of the players towards recovering and getting back fit.

"They really wanted to play in these Easter games and I'm chuffed with their approach."

Nick Rawsthorne, Joe Porter, Mike Kelly and Kevin Brown, all injured at Widnes, are ruled out tomorrow, along with the already crocked Ben Cockayne, Ash Robson, Harry Carter, Matt Chilton and Conor McGrath.

Rawsthorne and Brown are sidelined by concussion protocol but could well be available for Bank Holiday Monday's home league game against Widnes.

The Knights will also be without second-row Joe Batchelor tomorrow, after parent club St Helens recalled him from his loan for their own Easter double-header.

He was not in their squad to face Wigan tomorrow but could be in line for his Super League bow against Hull on Monday as Saints too look to manage their numbers. If not, his loan will likely resume at York.

Ford, meanwhile, said he would consider his line-up to take on Widnes on Monday only after tomorrow's game.

He reasoned: "We'll see how we get through this game. We've got an injury review on Saturday, with a massage and mobility session, before we get close to finalising a squad for Monday.

"I think it would be foolish to have an eye on the Widnes game. We have to go full out against Featherstone. It's an opportunity to put six points between ourselves and Fev with a game in hand and we want to do that."

He added: "We kick off at Featherstone at 6pm and are back in at training the next day, trying to recover, at 8.30am.

"We have to sit down and see where we're at and go from there. I know I will have blokes putting their hand up wanting to play both.

"That's what we are at York - we're a team that turns up and gives everything."

Featherstone's shock new signing, Dane Chisholm, who arrived on loan from Bradford Bulls for the season, has gone straight into Rovers' squad for tomorrow's match and is set to partner PNG star Watson Boas in the halves.

The 28-year-old is a direct replacement for Ben Reynolds, once of York, who was recalled from his long loan at Fev by parent club Wakefield.

French international Chisholm - who played alongside Fev's Aussie boss, Ryan Carr, at Balmain Tigers - was Bradford's top points scorer in League One last season as the Bulls followed champions York in winning promotion.

Australian outside-back Conor Carey also returns to Featherstone's squad for the first time since February. Jack Broadbent drops out of the 19.

Of the home ranks, back-rowers Brad Day and John Davies, hooker Danny Maskill and prop Jack Ormondroyd have previously donned Knights shirts.

Whereas York are riding high in third, Rovers have endured an inconsistent season so far - underlined by their 27-26 golden-point cup defeat at Bradford last week having led by 18 points - but have lost just once at home in 2019.

They may be targeting this match as their second Easter game is at home to leaders Toronto Wolfpack.

Featherstone (possible): Render, Carey, Hardcastle, Walters, Sutcliffe, Chisholm, Boas, Ormondroyd, Maskill, Cooper, Makatoa, Davies, Bussey. Subs: King, Lockwood, Harrison, Wheeldon, Beckett, Day.

Knights: from Marsh, Bass, Hey, Salter, Whiteley, Robinson, Heckford, Horne, Jubb, Teanby, Scott, Jordan-Roberts, Spears, Brining, Baldwinson, Stock, Dixon, Blagbrough, Mazive.