Widnes Vikings head coach Denis Betts has admitted his side have suffered a blow with the loss of winger Patrick Ah Van to a broken arm.
The 29-year-old suffered in the injury while scoring a try in Sunday's win over the Catalans Dragons and now the wide man is expected to be out of action for up to 12 weeks.
Betts has admitted the news is a blow and he feels sort of Ah Van, who will now miss a large chunk of the Super League regular season.
"It's the nature of the beast in sport, but you have got to feel sorry for Pat," said Betts.
"He's worked hard to get himself in fantastic condition for the season ahead, and I believe he is in the best shape of his life.
"It is incredibly unfortunate that he has broken his arm in the first game of the season. It's something you can't account for, and it was just a clash between two players in a tackle."
Widnes will begin life without Ah Van when they make the trip to the home of Castleford Tigers, who got their season off to a disastrous start with a heavy defeat at St Helens.
The Vikings are 5.50 to win and 1.14 to lose to the Tigers on Sunday.
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