White not right for Vikings
Betts insists tough baptism back in top flight is 'character building'
Last Updated: 22/05/12 6:02pm
Lloyd White: waiting to discover the full extent of the damage to his anterior cruciate ligament
Struggling Widnes have been dealt a further injury blow with the news that Lloyd White is facing season-ending knee surgery.
The half-back or hooker, who has been the only ever-present for the Vikings in their first year back in Stobart Super League, was hurt in the 42-34 defeat by Catalan Dragons on Sunday.
The Wales international is waiting to discover the full extent of the damage to his anterior cruciate ligament but coach Denis Betts is resigned to losing him for the rest of 2012.
"It could be a knee re-construction," the Widnes boss said. "We're still waiting for the scan to come back but we've got a good idea from the physio and he'll probably miss the rest of the year.
"It's pretty tough. You've got to feel for Lloyd. He's done really well. His consistency is down but it's getting better and he needs to play."
"This is not year one, it's year zero, this is our building year. The players that are here will develop."
Denis Betts Quotes of the week
White will become the fourth Widnes player to be ruled out for the campaign, joining Anthony Watts, Ben Kavanagh and Simon Finnigan on the long-term casualty list.
However, there is better news for the Vikings over Joe Mellor, who could make a quick recovery from the ankle injury he sustained against the Dragons.
The stand-off, who is three games into his loan spell from Wigan, was carried from the field on a stretcher but now could even be ready to face Warrington in Saturday's derby during Magic Weekend in Manchester.
"He's just maybe trapped a nerve," said Betts. "He couldn't feel his ankle and that's why they stretchered him off.
"It seemed pretty bad at the time but it's settled down and he's responded pretty well. There's a possibility he could play at the weekend."
Despite their injury problems and having registered just two wins so far on their return to the top flight, Betts insists the long-term future is still bright for the club as they work their way through a "building year".
"It's character building," he said. "The beauty of it is that it gives us an idea of what we need to do to improve next year.
"This is not year one, it's year zero, this is our building year. The players that are here will develop.
"If we didn't make any signings next year, we will be better. How much better I don't know but we will be better because of the time we spend together.
"We get used to the playing surface and we get used to the whole environment."