Bradford Bulls have suffered a major injury blow with the news that Shontayne Hape will effectively miss the rest of the season.
Hape suffered Cruciate Ligament damage in the game against Catalans Dragons and a scan late yesterday confirmed the seriousness of the injury.
He was ever present last year after missing most of the previous season, suffering Cruciate Ligament damage to his other leg whilst playing for New Zealand. He joined the Bulls in 2003, after missing all of 2002 at Auckland Warriors with ligament damage and has scored 78 tries in 114 games for the club.
Hape has been in tremendous form this season and Bulls Coach Steve McNamara is disappointed both for the club and the player:
"We're really, really disappointed to lose him like this but as much as we're disappointed, it's a huge one for him. He's obviously choked and cut up. It looks like he'll miss the rest of the season. It is possible he could be back if we get to the play-offs but it's five to six months at least."
"Shonny's recovered from two cruciate ops on the other knee and we're sure he'll recover from this one. We are all thinking about him at the moment and hoping he comes through this. We will help him through and hopefully he will get back for the end of the season. It's a massive misfortune for him to get another injury like this but it gives someone else an opportunity to stake a claim and that's why we have a squad.