LEWIS Palfrey, who captained Oldham for four seasons before joining derby rivals Rochdale Hornets, is set to miss the crucial KP Championship clash at Bower Fold on Sunday week, July 23.
He is out with a neck injury and there are concerns in the Hornets camp that he might not play again this season.
Miles Greenwood, another former Roughyeds player, has a similar injury which also makes him a serious doubt for a derby clash which is eagerly awaited by fans of both clubs.
Hornets have claimed three of the four Championship points contested by the local rivals so far this year with a 26-26 draw at the Crown Oil Arena in March and a 38-28 win Summer Bash win at Blackpool in May.
In each case Roughyeds held a substantial lead before Hornets called on the sting in their tail to finish on a high.
Both teams have tough games before their derby showdown, Oldham facing Sheffield Eagles away on Sunday and Rochdale entertaining second-placed London Broncos at the Crown Oil Arena.
In the jostle for position to keep outside the bottom two of the Championship, Rochdale have 13 points, two more than Roughyeds and with a better for-and-against record.
Sammy Gee will be free for Oldham this weekend, having served his one-match ban for punching in the Summer Bash incident that led to Rochdale’s Lewis Galbraith getting eight matches on a grade F verbal-abuse charge.
Rochdale have until close of play today to submit their appeal and they say the process has begun.
Coach Alan Kilshaw has re-iterated that the club will stand by Galbraith, who pleaded not guilty.
In the latest disciplinary move involving Oldham, the RFL’s match review panel looked at Andrew Bentley’s alleged use of an elbow in the Roughyeds’ win over Toulouse, but decided there would be no charge.
Sheffield boss Mark Aston hopes to have stand-off Simon Brown and utility forward Elliott Minchella back in contention to face Oldham.
Knee injuries ruled them out of the Eagles 52-16 defeat at London Broncos.