DEPLETED Widnes Vikings should have at least two forwards back from injury for Saturday’s Coral Challenge Cup fifth-round clash against York City Knights at Halton Stadium, kick off 7.30pm.

There will also need to be late fitness checks on some key personnel that missed the Championship loss at Batley Bulldogs where head coach Kieron Purtill was down to his last 16 fit first-team players.

Youngster Jayden Hatton was called in at the last minute, having played almost 80 minutes on Friday for the under 19s, just to make sure Vikings had 17 on the teamsheet.

“Hopefully we’ll have a couple more back in, so Sam Wilde should be right this week and Ted Chapelhow should be ok with his facial injury,” said Purtill.

“Again we’ll be touch and go with Anthony Gelling and Danny Craven.

“The squad is a bit thin at the moment.

“The thing I’ve said is that if I’ve got any doubts over anyone, and I think it’s a 50:50 call, I’ve left them out because I don’t think it’s worth risking injury and losing them long term for the sake of losing them for a week or maybe two.”

Purtill said the recent period of administration before new ownership was settled is having an impact on players’ availability

“The squad is a lot smaller than it used to be,” he said.

“We lost two senior physios over that time, and a conditioner, and all those things start having an impact.

“We’re struggling to get people seen with a physio on a daily basis so when you have to come to Thursday and name a squad you have to put people in just in case they get passed fit to play and unfortunately with just a little lack of proper treatment and getting on top of some minor niggles and injuries they’re falling just a bit short at the moment.

“We have to deal with that as a club. Again, we’ve got to pull together as a squad.

“We’ve got to keep working hard and do our best and look forward to York on Saturday which will be a tough game.

“They’ve started off the season really well. They’ve got some really good players, a lot of experience in Ben Cockayne and some good young players as well. They’ve picked a few up from Hull KR.

“They seem to have quite a settled squad and are working hard for each other.

“They’ve got people who can score tries as well so we’ll have to be a lot better than we were last week. They’ve got a really good coach and are looking for good things this year. I think it’ll be a really exciting game.”