GARETH Hock is facing at least four months on the sidelines when he undergoes surgery on a shoulder injury, Barrow Raiders chairman Steve Neale has confirmed.

The former England international forward suffered a tear in his shoulder when taking part in the Raiders' charity boxing night the week before Christmas and went to see a specialist in Preston on Thursday.

Hock was told he will need an operation, which is set for early next month, and is not expected to be back in action until the end of April or beginning of May at the earliest.

“Gareth has got an injury which was caused at the boxing event,” said Neale, speaking at the Raiders' annual sponsors night yesterday.

“He went in for an appointment with the specialist on Thursday and the prognosis is not that good.

“He has to have an operation on an AC injury and he's booked in for an operation the first week of February.

“It's a three to four month injury and it's hopefully end of April, middle of May he'll be back and he'll be like a new signing for us.”

The news comes as a blow to the Raiders ahead of their first pre-season game against Oldham tomorrow, with 35-year-old Hock being one of their stand-out signings for the 2019 Betfred Championship season.

However, Barrow have recently recruited versatile former Salford Red Devils and Huddersfield Giants forward Jordan Walne, while the Papua New Guinean trio of Stargroth Amean, Wartovo Purara Jr and Willie Minoga have now arrived at the club.

The three internationals were introduced to their new team-mates, supporters and sponsors at last night's event at the Chequers Hotel in Dalton, where the Raiders received a financial boost from the player sponsorship auction which raised over £22,000.