McDonald absence stretches Widnes

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The Independent Online

Widnes have had further bad news on the injury front, with X-rays showing that their prop, Ryan McDonald, has chipped a bone in his foot and will be out of action for several weeks.

The club's captain, Steve Carter, had an operation yesterday to remove a piece of floating bone from his ankle, but, although their coach, Neil Kelly, admits that his small squad is now stretched, he has no immediate intention of entering the transfer market. Widnes' win at London on Saturday has taken them into the top six.

Hull's Steve Prescott is out of Friday's trip to Widnes after damaging a hamstring, while London's Jason Hetherington says that he is not going to rush back too quickly from a similar injury.

Barrie McDermott of Leeds and Bradford's James Lowes have been told that they have no cases to answer after being placed on report for incidents in the match between the two clubs last Friday.

Another former Warrington player, Andrew Gee, has followed in Allan Langer's footsteps by reclaiming his place in Queensland's State of Origin side. Both players left Wilderspool last year saying that they were ending their careers because of injury, but they have made successful comebacks for the Brisbane Broncos.

York fans say they are confident of reforming the club in time for next season. The York Supporters' Consortium has admitted it will not going to be ready for the resumption of Northern Ford Premiership fixtures next month, but expect York to be ready to take their place in National League Two next year.

That will not be at the expense of applications for membership from Bramley and North London Skolars, both of whom could be admitted to complete a division of 11, if their bids are considered strong enough.

The Rugby League has filled its one major remaining vacancy after its restructuring and administrative merger with Super League with the appointment of Glenn Baker as commercial director. Baker is to relocate from the south of England and will oversee sponsorship, marketing and media.

"If rugby league wants to continue its development among the country's leading professional sports then it has to adopt a more businesslike approach to the acquisition of high-quality sponsors," he said.

The Minister for Sport, Richard Caborn, has opened the Leeds Rugby Academy, for use by both the Rhinos and their rugby union off-shoot, the Leeds Tykes.