Hull FC head coach Andy Last provides an injury update ahead the Super League restart against Salford next weekend.
The Black & Whites will be without vice-captain Scott Taylor who picked up a back injury in training at the Jacuzzi® Elite Performance Centre and is set to miss the next few weeks.
Fellow prop Masi Matongo will also be sidelined with a shoulder injury suffered in training but is expected to be available later this month.
Otherwise, it’s good news for the Airlie Birds who can report a clean bill of health across the squad, with several players recovering from long term injuries picked up before the enforced lockdown.
Jake Connor is fully fit after suffering a long term knee injury against Catalans, which is a big boost for the Black & Whites.
Bureta Faraimo has also recovered from a hernia operation which took place before the break, while fellow wingers Adam Swift and Ratu Naulago are fully fit after hamstring injuries.
Mahe Fonua (rib), Andre Savelio (knee), Joe Cator (hamstring), Manu Ma’u (concussion) are all now fit and available for selection having trained fully since returning to training.
Speaking to hullfc.com, interim head coach Andy Last said: “With such a short build up to the restart and some really high intensity sessions as we prepare the players, there is always going to be a risk of injuries unfortunately.
“Scott could have played on for a few weeks, but he’s not 100% so there is no point in making his injury worse and then loose him for the full year. We’ve taken the decision to get him treated now and back to full fitness as soon as possible for the remainder of the season.
“Masi’s had a knock on his shoulder in a tackle which did a bit of damage and playing him is not worth the risk. He’s in rehab and should be available later this month.
He added, “We have good cover in the front row in. Josh Bowden is back to full fitness, and Chris Satae and Gareth Ellis both look in really good shape. We’ve also got Brad Fash and Jack Brown training very well and chomping at the bit, so I’m not concerned.
“Otherwise the squad looks in great shape. Jake Connor is back to full fitness and is looking really sharp and he has clearly benefitted from the break.
Last continued to heap praise on the younger members of the first-team squad, like Brown, who are expected to be called on throughout the newly restructured campaign with a condensed fixture list meaning squad rotation is likely to be a common theme.
Having overseen some very competitive and high intensity sessions over the last few weeks, Hull’s interim coach believes the young lads are catching the eye.
“It has been pleasing to see a lot of the younger lads and players that sit a bit deeper in our squad having really taken the chance to impress – they’ve got themselves really fit during lockdown and hit the ground running and it’s been noted by the senior guys.
“They’ve looked really sharp and are pushing those senior blokes very hard to ensure there is going to be plenty of competition for places.
“I’m quite comfortable putting them in there on merit at the moment with the way they’re training. They have helped raise the bar.
“The players have clearly bought into what we are about as a club and looked after themselves through lockdown which has led to some really high quality sessions over the last couple of weeks, which is encouraging.
“But the important thing for us in the coming week is to make sure we take that on to the field against Salford next week at Headingley otherwise that hard work is in vein. We’re really focused on getting off to a good start.”