Wigan Warriors look set to be without skipper Sean O'Loughlin for another month after it was confirmed he needs knee surgery.
The England forward was left out of the Warriors' last two Super League matches against Wakefield and Widnes in the hope that the injury would settle down.
However, the 30-year-old continues to be troubled by the problem and will undergo surgery, with either Sam Tomkins or Harrison Hansen expected to resume captaincy duties in his absence.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane told the Wigan Evening Post: "It's obviously a blow, because Sean is our leader and we're entering an important part of the season.
"We were hoping the injury would settle down, we gave it a couple of weeks, but he needs an operation.
"While it's disappointing for Sean, it provides an opportunity for someone like Greg Burke to come in and see what he can do, and stake his claim for a more regular spot."