Hull FC winger Jason Crookes could be out of action until mid-May after suffering a shoulder injury in training.
The 23-year-old, who had a frustrating first season at the KC Stadium after joining from Bradford Bulls, was hoping to make a spot his own this time around after Tom Briscoe’s move to Leeds.
However, the player, just recently back from wrist surgery, is now set for further disappointment.
Initial tests could not diagnose the full extent of the injury so he will undergo surgery next week and the club is fearful he could be out for as long as four months.
Hull coach Lee Radford said: “It’s a real shame for him as I know he was looking forward to the start of the season.
“To suffer the injury so soon after his wrist operation and before the season starts is very cruel but it is part and parcel of our game and he’ll be well looked after by our medical department.
“It means we are now one down when it comes to filling our wing spot and that will mean another player now has the opportunity to step up and jump into that role.”
Radford, who took over from Peter Gentle at the end of last season, takes charge for the first time when the Airlie Birds head to Doncaster for a friendly on Sunday.