INFLUENTIAL forward Dave Hughes looks set to miss the rest of the season after undergoing treatment to resolve a long-standing hip problem.
The flanker has been a big asset to Bromsgrove when he featured for the National Three Midlands promotion-chasers this season.
But head coach Dan Protherough admitted Hughes had been struggling with a hip complaint which he was now looking to get fixed.
Although admitting his absence would be a big blow to his side, who are fourth in the table, Protherough said the treatment would give Hughes the best chance to get fully fit for next season.
“Dave has had a bad hip for most of the season as it just keeps flaring up, so he’s going to have it looked at and hopefully get it sorted,” Protherough said. “If he does it now, he may well be fit for the beginning of the season which is what we want.
“He is such a good leader for us and a really good player, so it is a big loss to our group. He displays a lot of the characteristics you need to be successful as he works hard and keeps himself in shape.
“He is a key figure, but he hasn’t played that much because of it, so we have managed without him. We have others who can step in as Sam Montieri has played very well this year and Chris Morgan has had an excellent season.”
Morgan is likely to replace Hughes in the back row for Bromsgrove’s home clash with lowly Longton tomorrow (Saturday).
And Protherough said he hopes to see an improved performance from his side at Finstall Park after suffering back-to-back league defeats, which has seen them slip seven points behind second placed Peterborough Lions.
“We have got seven games left and every one of them is going to be tough, so we have to make sure we are mentally prepared because I think that was where we fell down against Lichfield,” he said.
“We probably thought we had faced the toughest challenge against Hinckley as we went to Lichfield and were not quite at the races, so that’s where we will be looking to improve this week.
“Against Hinckley our lads tackled well, they were brave and their work rate was really good. But against Lichfield that edge to really make the tackle wasn’t there and you only need to be ten per cent off and suddenly you are a losing game which you should be winning.
“I want to see every a tackle count on Saturday as it will be another tough game and we need to make sure we are in the right place mentally.”