HULL KR captain Weller Hauraki hopes to be back in action sooner rather than later having had an artificial ligament placed in his ankle.
The back-row looked like being out for a lengthy spell after suffering an injury in the pre-season friendly against Wakefield Trinity a fortnight ago.
Rovers host the same opponents in their Super League opener on Friday and have already been rocked by the devastating career-ending injury to prop Mose Masoe suffered in the same game.
But Hauraki, 34, said: “I probably preferred this to happen to me now and not halfway through the season or around the business end.
“I’ve done my syndesmosis but I get my cast off on Friday as the specialist says it’s not as bad as he first thought it was.
“They’ve put an artificial ligament in there so I can’t now actually do it again.
“It’s titanium and is supposed to hold it all so we’ll see if it does the trick. It’s a new thing they’ve brought in and it’s quickened the process up a bit so I could be back hopefully around round seven or eight.
“That’s full recovery, too. It will help me get back a lot earlier but I won’t rush it.
“If it takes seven weeks it takes seven weeks but it’s a lot better than what it could have been.”
There was plenty of fitness updates at yesterday’s Super League season launch with Huddersfield Giants having lost one of their main signings Ashton Golding to a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s friendly against Wakefield.
Head coach Simon Woolford says the former Leeds Rhinos full-back is awaiting the results of a scan but he will not be fit for next Saturday’s opener at Catalans Dragons and could miss a month of action.
Woolford will likely decide between Darnell McIntosh or Louis Senior as Golding’s replacement but says he could also look at the loan market.
Trinity, meanwhile, lost their own full-back recruit Alex Walker and young forward Yusuf Aydin in the same game and they are both facing four to six week lay-offs.
Coach Chris Chester already has major injury issues and now hopes to sign a forward on a season-long loan in the next 24 hours.