HULL FC have seen a third senior second-row ruled out of action after Danny Tickle was sidelined for more than two months.
The Airlie Birds have yet to see England star Gareth Ellis make his debut due to a broken foot, while fellow winter recruit Ben Galea dislocated his thumb at Wakefield Trinity on Easter Monday.
Now Tickle, the England international who is not long back from a biceps injury that saw him miss six months, is out again.
Ahead of tomorrow’s game at Salford, Hull coach Peter Gentle revealed the 30-year-old suffered a knee injury against Catalan that will keep him out until June.
“Danny was just starting to get on top of his game,” he said.
“He was playing good game time for us and he’s our goal-kicker too.
“He was doing some good things for us, but we’ll move on from it.
“It is a PCL strain. His knee has to be immobilised for five or six weeks and then we will have to build him back up so it will be eight or nine weeks in total.”
However, Gentle has received better news on captain Ellis, who saw a specialist on Wednesday and could finally appear soon.
The player hoped to possibly return as early as next week against North Wales Crusaders in the Challenge Cup, but Gentle is erring on the side of caution.
“The consultant is very happy with Gareth and we expect him to be back playing within the month,” he said.
“He is progressing ahead of schedule but we still want to go the full-term and I don’t want to risk it before that.
“Trying to cut a week off won’t benefit anyone. When he is right we will throw him in regardless of who the opposition is.
“There are a few things to tick off, but from what the consultant said they are just a formality.”
England centre Kirk Yeaman is available next week after recovering from the broken thumb he suffered against Castleford in mid-March but, given the form of Joe Arundel and Ben Crooks, is not necessarily sure of a spot.
Gentle said: “He gets his cast off Friday and then he’ll be ready.
“We’ll have to see when Kirk returns because he’s got a couple of good young centres to get past.
“There are no guarantees for Kirk and that is the upside of the injuries; our young blokes have been getting good game time and are playing their part.”
Meanwhile, the Australian does not expect his assistant Andy Hay to go for the vacant Castleford Tigers coaching role following Ian Millward’s sacking.
Hay is in his second season at KC Stadium after previously being an assistant at Wheldon Road and has been mentioned.
“I haven’t spoken about it with Andy,” said Gentle.
“If he was to go he would go with my blessing because everyone wants to coach first-grade.
“All assistants want that step but you have to be smart about which jobs you take.
“That is up to Andy, but I think he’d have spoken to me by now if he was interested in that job.”