Cumbrian forward James Donaldson is set to miss the next six weeks of Super League – after fracturing a bone in his back.

The 28-year-old Leeds second-rower was carried off on a stretcher after suffering the injury during the Rhinos’ 27-26 golden-point victory over Huddersfield last Sunday.

Coach Richard Agar, whose side face champions St Helens this weekend, said Donaldson, a former Wath Brow Hornets star, was in some pain.

He said: “He is in a fair amount of discomfort and has limited movement at the moment but it is probably not as bad as it sounds.

“We are probably looking at a five- to six-week injury.

“You saw at the weekend he tried to get up and walk off and fell back to the floor.

“He’s had a difficult 48 hours but, as bad as a fractured back might sound, it is nothing more than a little crack.”

Leeds captain Stevie Ward is also out, as he is still suffering dizzy spells as a result of a head injury sustained in February.

The loose forward has not featured for the Rhinos since suffering a concussion in the opening Betfred Super League match of the season against Hull.

Agar has revealed the club are concerned about the player’s well-being and there is still no timeframe for when the 26-year-old might be able to return.

“He has to get better first,” said Agar at a press conference. “You have got to be ultra careful.”