Already forced to field a somewhat makeshift attack with Matthew Hoggard, Deon Kruis, Rana Naved-Ul-Hasan and Ajmal Shazad all injured, the last thing Yorkshire needed was more bowlers to pitch up with sick notes.
But that is precisely what has happened here this morning. Darren Gough - the first to admit that the niggles are starting to bite in his retirement season - did not take the field and neither did Anthony McGrath, who is reported, in medical parlance, to be "feeling poorly".
Their absence left a heavy burden on the shoulders of a relatively inexperienced attack, although the big partnership between Paul Horton and Mohammad Yousuf has been broken.
Yousuf completed his first century for Lancashire by cracking a Rich Pyrah full toss through the covers but then leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed the in-form Horton's wicket with a ball that took out middle stump by zipping on low as the Lancashire batsman went to pull it.
Horton had made 152, equalling his highest first-class score, while the partnership, curiously, ended at 258 - equalling the record stand for Lancashire in a Roses match, which was set by Horton and Stuart Law in this fixture last season.
Yorkshire then took the new ball and a second success of the morning came almost immediately when 19-year-old Ben Sanderson, their Sheffield-born seamer, celebrated his maiden first-class wicket with the help of Jacques Rudolph's safe hands at first slip. In an odd-looking card, Francois du Plessis became the third Lancashire batsman out without scoring.
Sanderson would have had a second wicket had Joe Sayers not put down Steven Croft at second slip on eight. That miss has cost 30 runs so far. McGrath's spilling of Yousuf on one on Friday has been somewhat more expensive - the Pakistan Test star is unbeaten on 129. After yesterday's complete washout, however, a draw is inevitable.