Hull FC now without 14 first-teamers for Super League clash against London Broncos

HULL FC will be without 14 first-team players for their clash against London Broncos on Sunday afternoon.

Though club captain Danny Houghton will return following his head injury protocols as well as Ligi Sao from suspension, Carlos Tuimavave is still absent.

“We’ve got Danny back. He’s fit and healthy. And we’ve got Ligi Sao back too which is good news. We’ve possibly got Carlos. He has a couple of boxes still to tick, but he’s a possibility. They are purely physical ones before we make a call,” Smith said.

Harvey Barron however is an addition to Hull’s list of unavailable players, missing out with a hamstring problem after leaving the field last week.

“Harvey isn’t right. We don’t think it’s a tear. He’s got a tightness there and we’re being very cautious with it. He has had a history there for injuries in the past so we don’t want to push it.

“It’s unfortunate for Harvey as it was a great opportunity for him. I thought he was doing well until he picked up that knock. He’s got something going on around that area and he needs to get on top of that before we risk him again.”

FC remain without Liam Tindall, Jake Trueman, Brad Fash, Joe Cator, Mitieli Vulikijapani, Zach Jebson, Kye Armstrong, and Cobie Wainhouse, with Herman Ese’ese, Franklin Pele, and Liam Sutcliffe suspended.

On Tindall, Smith said: “He’s getting close. He’s running around. He’s got a cap on his thumb that prevents it from going out of position.

“He will be a couple of weeks I think. He needs to get the strength back in his thumb but he’s able to do a lot of the physical training which is good. He’s on with it.”

On Jebson, he continued: “His ankle is probably a little worse than we first thought. He is pain-free now. He’s hoping to start running soon. His ankle was his last outing. He did have a hip flexor a couple of weeks ago but it was his ankle in reserve grade. He’s hopefully back within the next week or so.”

On Fash, Smith said: “He’s recovering. He had to keep his foot up for the first week or so. He’s elevated his ankle and made sure he has taken care of it. He’ll be back in over the next few days. The operation went well. It’s a 6-10 week recovery.”

Smith also gave welcome updates on longer-term absentees Mitieli Vulikijapani, Jake Trueman, and Kye Armstrong.

“Mitch should be back around the end of March, certainly around then.”He’s very much on target for that.”

“Truey is going well. He’s progressing. He’s working on the ultra-g and he’s almost running on grass now. He’s on schedule but has some boxes to tick.

“Kye is doing most things but he’s not quite there. He hasn’t got the contact going just yet, but everything else, he is starting to join into training with the skills. There are some positives behind the scenes. We’ve had a few players on the medical bench but the sooner we get them back, the better.”

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