Hull FC captain Danny Houghton will miss the start of the season.
Super League’s top tackler underwent surgery on a wrist problem in December and time is set to beat the Hull captain’s hopes to be fit for the start of the season.
The Black and Whites had accepted that the 31-year-old wouldn’t feature in their pre-season games, but had hoped he’d be ready in time for their season opener with Leeds in the double-header at Headingley on 2nd February.
However, they now fear that he will not only miss the clash at Headingley, but also the Hull derby a week later.
“Danny will be missing for the first couple of games,” Lee Radford confirmed.
“He picked up a wrist injury in the second week of pre-season and had to have an operation. He’s been cracking on since then, but he’s going to miss the start of the campaign.”
Radford started new signing Joe Cator at hooker in their pre-season game with Halifax, despite him being viewed as a specialist backrower, with a view to him playing a role there in Houghton’s absence.
“For sure that’s an option for us,” said Radford.
“I’ve seen him play there before, but we thought we’d see what he was about there, and we’ve got Jordan Johnstone there to spell with him if we decide to go down that route.”