HULL KR head coach James Webster admits he feared the worst when captain Terry Campese was injured during his first game back after nine months out following a third knee reconstruction.
The former Australia stand-off had shown plenty of positive signs having come on during the first half of Sunday’s match at Huddersfield Giants.
However, with yet more wretched bad luck, Campese strained a hamstring when launching a kick in the 57th minute and had to be helped from the field in Rovers’ 38-6 defeat.
Webster, in his first match since taking over at Craven Park, admitted: “Whilst we’re disappointed he’s going to miss some time, it’s good it’s not the knee again.
“When he’s on the ground with his hand in the air you clearly worry - but it’s his hamstring on the other leg, which was a relief.
“Like all soft tissue injuries it’s hard to tell how bad it is, but he’ll definitely miss some more time out.
“We’ll know more Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Rovers remain winless this season and have now fallen bottom of Super League.
They had trailed 12-0 early on at Huddersfield but were far more competitive with Campese piloting them and fancied their chances at 18-6 just before his forced departure.
Webster conceded: “He made a real difference and we’ve only had one week of training with him on the field.
“We were really scratchy with the ball and he helped us when we came on.
“We understand that injuries happen, and he’s well-conditioned in dealing with them. “He’ll be doing everything to get back as quickly as he can.”
Rovers also saw Shaun Lunt, the former Huddersfield and England hooker marking his first appearance of the season after ankle surgery, depart early, too.
“It’s a calf problem with Shaun; he doesn’t know if he’s strained it or not,” added Webster.
“He’s nowhere near as bad as Terry but whether Shaun will be right for next week we won’t know.”
Rovers had hoped to have Campese’s fellow half-back Albert Kelly returning after he missed the previous game with his own hamstring strain but he did not make the 17.
Webster says the Australian is “50/50” to be fit for Sunday’s visit from Salford Red Devils.
“We were confident he’d play yesterday (Saturday) but he felt it a little bit then so we thought he wouldn’t be 100 per cent for this game,” added the coach.
“I was interested in seeing Matty Marsh play anyway; he’s a good young prospect and if we’re going to be true to ourselves we need to keep bringing players through from the academy.”
Rovers competed for periods but Webster had no arguments with the defeat.
“We were second best in the ruck; they ran harder than us and we had to generate some tempo with our play,” he said.
“We did well to stay within 12 points and when we came out in the second half we had rectified some things.
“Matty Marsh went close, we had a repeat set but we dropped the ball, they went down the other end and scored.
“ They then had 12 of the next 16 sets, and fatigue hurt us a bit.”