BLACKBURN Hawks could be without Ric Hughes for the rest of the season, after he aggravated a knee injury last weekend.

The former Deeside Dragons star is facing keyhole surgery next month and has been told he could face up to 10 weeks on the sidelines.

The news came as a double blow to Hawks with today their last chance to add to their squad. Player-coach Jared Owen had a new signing lined up, but that appeared to have fallen through last night.

Owen is also sweating on the fitness of Ollie Lomax, who suffered a shoulder injury last weekend.

He was set to be assessed during last night’s training camp.

“If there he’s not 100 per cent we won’t risk him,” said Owen, whose side entertain Sheffield Spartans (face off 5.45pm).

Owen was still looking at options to replace goalscorer Hughes before tonight’s deadline, but added: “I don’t think we’ll be able to.

“Ric’s a big loss because he’s been solid for us all season and a big contributor. It’s kind of caught us a little bit off guard with the timing of it.”

But Owen says the setback could even work in their favour by galvanising his players for the end of season run-in, and title and play-off race.

“It gives us something else to play for,” he said.

“I’m still very confident in the group we’ve got.

“We put in a very good performance at Solway but just couldn’t get the goals.”