VIKINGS have been dealt a massive blow with in-form scrum half Joe Mellor ruled out of action for three months.

The dynamic 23-year-old former Wigan junior, who has enjoyed a tremendous start to the 2014 campaign, dislocated his shoulder in Friday’s first defeat of the season.

Mellor will need a shoulder re-construction as well as an operation on a spiral finger fracture.

In his absence, Denis Betts will probably look to give youngsters Danny Craven or Tom Gilmore their opportunity to partner Kevin Brown in the halves.

Betts said: “Joe will have an operation on his finger on Thursday as well as another operation to reconstruct his shoulder.

“We’re looking at a minimum of 12 weeks, which is a massive blow for us, but this is the nature of the beast.

“We’ve got lads that want an opportunity, and who have worked hard through the pre-season and are now looking for a chance.”

Having lost their unbeaten record at Leeds on Friday, Vikings will be keen to give a good account of themselves when they hit the road again and head to Hull FC on Sunday.

Hull’s KC Stadium holds some pretty haunting memories for the Vikings having lost there 72-10 last term and conceding 58 points the previous year.

But that history counts for nothing, and Vikings will hope to add to Hull’s mixed start to the campaign.

Betts added: “Hull are having it pretty tough at the moment, they have a few injuries and had some very tight games.

“This is another one of those venues that we know is a tough day out.”