Castleford Tigers stand-off Luke Gale could miss the remainder of the Super League table-toppers' Super 8s campaign after undergoing appendix surgery.
The Tigers have been the stand-out team in 2017, romping to the League Leaders' Shield, finishing 10 points above second-placed Leeds Rhinos.
Cas have beaten Salford Red Devils, Wakefield Trinity, Huddersfield Giants and the Rhinos in a flawless start to their play-off campaign, guaranteeing a home draw in the semi-final.
Only three players have provided more try assists than Gale this term and the Tigers remain hopeful he will have a part to play this season.
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell said: "Luke has had surgery relating to his appendix this afternoon which will keep him out of immediate action on the field.
"We are hoping for a speedy recovery back to the field before the end of the season."