Oxford RL will be without JJ Baird for the rest of the season after the second row forward suffered a knee injury in their 58-16 defeat by York a fortnight ago.
This is a big blow for Oxford, who have a mounting injury crisis as they bid to climb away from the lower reaches of the table.
For Sunday’s trip to north east to take on Gateshead Thunder, Glenn Osborn is ruled out after damaging his elbow in training, while Karl Temata continues to be out with a back injury.
Late fitness tests will be given to Sean Morris (hamstring), Value Bentley (knee) and Jimmy Rowland (knee).
Coach Tony Benson welcomes back Michael Crabtree and Dave Ellison after they missed the heavy York defeat for personal reasons.
Oxford, who did not have a game last week, will be looking for revenge against the Thunder after losing the last two encounters between the sides.
Gateshead ran out 47-28 victors at the International Stadium at the start of the campaign and then won 36-22 at Iffley Road last month.
Gateshead know they need to pick up the victory on Sunday as they sit just outside the playoffs Oxford will be trying to put pressure on the home side as they try and make one last push towards the play-offs.
Benson said said: “It’s going to be a difficult challenge, on and off the field, as it’s a long old drive up there.
“So we need to ensure our preparations are spot on.
“It is hard to predict what sort of side we will be facing.
“But they have brought in some experienced players over the past few months in the shape of Jamie Rooney, Lee Mapals and more recently Ben Hardcastle.
“So they are a side packed full of experience as well as youth.
“I am expecting a tough match this weekend.”
Oxford squad: Benson, Blaney, Blewitt, Briggs, Brooker, Crabtree, Connick, Davies, Egerton, Ellison, Evans, Hoggins, Hayles, Lynch, J Morris, S Morris, Mulkeen, Newton, O’Keeffe, Parker, Rice, Roden, Rowland, Sharratt, Slade-Jones, Thompson, Vickers, Winfield, Wright.
Latest Sport news
6:00am Tuesday 1st September 2015
OXFORD United have not received any approaches for their players ahead of the transfer window closing tonight.
6:50am Tuesday 1st September 2015
BROTHERS Tim and Simon Tricker starred with a total of five maximums to help Democrats Club win 6-3 at Peachcroft Social Club in Premier & Section 1 of the Greene King ODDA Summer League.
6:30am Tuesday 1st September 2015
HARRY Richardson stormed to victory in the Challenor Rose Bowl at Frilford Heath.
1:30pm Monday 31st August 2015
MICHAEL Appleton saluted Oxford United’s supporters for the role they have played in the side’s promising start.
11:58am Monday 31st August 2015
Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters.
9:30am Monday 31st August 2015
DANNY Hylton is revelling in the buzz around Oxford United after the forward’s flying start to the season continued with a starring role in the 2-0 win against Yeovil Town.
8:30am Monday 31st August 2015
DANNY Rose felt Oxford United’s energetic performance against Yeovil Town showed resting players in midweek was the right decision by head coach Michael Appleton.
8:20am Monday 31st August 2015
BRADLEY Smith finished seventh in the British MotoGP at Silverstone yesterday.
8:00am Monday 31st August 2015
Oxford City scored two late goals to seal their first home win of the season and move up to sixth in the Vanarama National League South table.
8:00am Monday 31st August 2015
Great & Little Tew clinched promotion to Division 1 after their two main rivals Gerrards Cross and Amersham both lost on Saturday.