CAPTAIN Tim Spears and former Super League star Graeme Horne will be given until the last minute to hand York City Knights a fitness boost on Sunday - after the club lost another key packman to the treatment room.

Second-row enforcer Sam Scott requires a scan on a knee injury and, starting with this weekend's Championship visit of Batley Bulldogs, is expected to be out for a month, joining long-term crocks Ash Robson, Harry Carter, Matt Chilton, Joe Porter and Ben Cockayne on the sidelines.

In timely fashion, Josh Jordan-Roberts is fit to take Scott's berth in the back row after overcoming his Easter ankle injury and Mike Kelly is also pushing for a recall.

The returns of experienced pair Spears and Horne could be pivotal, though, after they both missed the battling defeat in Toulouse last weekend due to hamstring and calf strains respectively.

Head coach James Ford said of Scott's ACL sprain: "It’s a similar injury to Ben Cockayne’s although we’re hopeful it’s not as bad.

“We’re hoping to get him in for a scan pretty quickly. The worst-case scenario is three to five weeks.

“He’s a tough old cookie. He’s been playing with a few niggles and he’s been carrying this as well but it’s got a little bit worse.

“We’re erring on the side of caution, rather than risk losing him for the rest of this season and a chunk of next year.

“We now have One Bob (Jordan-Roberts) back and Mike Kelly available as well - quality players who are hungry to come into the side.”

Spears has been named at loose-forward, replacing Dave Petersen, and Horne on the bench - assuming both pass fit.

“Tim is confident he will be ready. I’ve got a lot of trust in him," said Ford.

"It’ll be good to see him back – his leadership, grit, defensive efforts are really important to us.

“We will give him as long as we can even if it’s up to the warm-up.

"Graeme also faces a late test, although we won't risk him if he's not 100 per cent."

Ford could go with the same back line as against Toulouse, but is weighing up whether to field Brad Hey in the centres in place of Jason Bass.

Hunslet loanee Cain Southernwood make his Bootham Crescent bow at stand-off following his debut against Toulouse last week.

After winning only one of their first eight fixtures this term, Batley turned things around over Easter time to beat Widnes, arch-rivals Dewsbury and Swinton prior to last week's home loss to Leigh.

Winger Wayne Reittie, who regularly features in a powerful Bulldogs back line, is out this weekend, but fellow ex-Knight Sam Smeaton will play. Keenen Tomlinson and Lewis Galbraith are vying for Reittie's berth.

Exciting Frenchman Louis Jouffret partners the experienced Dom Brambani in the halves.

Packman Jack Downs is one other omission from last week's team, with club stalwarts Adam Gledhill and Alex Bretherton added in the 19.

Knights (possible): Marsh, Mazive, Bass/Hey, Salter, Whiteley, Southernwood, Robinson, Baldwinson, Jubb, Teanby, Stock, Jordan-Roberts, Spears. Subs: Brining, Blagbrough, Dixon, Horne/Kelly.

Batley (possible): Scott, Tomlinson, Smeaton, Wood, Campbell, Jouffret, Brambani, Bienek, Leak, Everett, Manning, Bretherton, Taira. Subs: from Brearley, Brown, Butterworth, Ward, Gledhill, Galbraith.