Carl Hughes could be sidelined for up to six months after dislocating his shoulder in Sunday’s league win against Whitehaven.
Hughes had an operation on Tuesday after an MRI scan revealed a severe tear on the capsule of his shoulder joint.
The 30 year-old is facing between three and six months on the sidelines - although the second rower is preparing himself for the worst case scenario.
Hughes said: “It’s a massive disappointment for myself and it’s happened at probably the worse time of the year in our first league game of the season.
“I’ve got my head round it though, it’s going to be a real test of my character and I’m hoping to turn it into a positive.
“I’m determined to get myself fit again as quickly as possible.
“There are worse things that can happen in life and I’ve just got to be patient and work through the injury and get the rehab done.
“I’ve spoken to Tony (Miller) and the club and I’ve got their full backing which is a great boost and I hope we can kick on from Sunday’s win and keep the momentum going.
“If I can manage to get the boots on again this season I think it will be my greatest achievement in the game.”
Head coach Tony Miller said: “This is massive blow for both Carl and the club and the timing of the injury couldn’t be any worse.
“I would like to wish Carl a full and speedy recovery and we hope to see him in a Dons shirt again soon.”