Tonga international Vete has had a frustrating start to his Super League career since joining from Melbourne Storm last autumn. He missed the Robins’ last game at Warrington Wolves due to a hamstring issue but has incurred another problem which sees him miss Monday’s Betfred Super League fixture at Castleford Tigers.
Smith explained: “In his rehabilitation of his hamstring he’s strained his abductor tendon.
“It’s a bit of a freak injury. It’s highly unusual and we don’t come across them very often.
“Nevertheless that’s where he’s at. He’ll see a consultant tomorrow (Friday) to get a bit more of a steer on that.”
Winger Ryan signed a new two-year deal this week but he is also out of the Wheldon Road game – and potentially much longer – after encountering problems with a wrist injury which dogged him last year.
“Unfortunately Ethan has had an X-ray or a scan on his wrist and he has got some issues still going on with his wrist,” conceded Smith, who confirmed the worst-case scenario could be an absence of up to 14 weeks.
“It hasn’t healed as well as it needs to.
“He’ll either need some time or an operation. We’re just waiting on some news about that too.”
However, prop Will Maher is fit again and available to take on one of his former clubs so he could come in as a like-for-like replacement for Vete.
Another ex-Castleford player – Ben Crooks – will look to make the most of his chance if he is recalled in place of Ryan.
Rovers piped crowd noise into the stadium at training yesterday to help their players prepare for the return of fans to matches.
After playing behind closed doors for more than 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Super League clubs will take advantage of the easing of lockdown restrictions on Monday by gradually re-opening the turnstiles.
Hull KR will run out in front of 3,600 spectators at Castleford on Monday and the club have taken steps to help the players familiarise themselves once more with the kind of atmosphere they can expect.
“We trained with noise in the background today at the stadium just to get used to it again, having to yell over each other rather than hearing a pin drop,” Smith revealed.
He added: “We understand it’s going to be all Cas fans against us but even that brings out the best in us.”
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