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Hull FC struggles continue with youngster confirmed as out for the season

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It’s been a torrid start to the season for Hull FC but they’ve confirmed even more bad news with one of their rising stars out for an expected nine months.

The player in question is Nick Staveley who Tony Smith has confirmed will miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his ACL with the injury being far worse than initially anticipated.

Speaking to BBC Humberside, Smith revealed that the initial knee injury that ruled Staveley out of the Hull derby had occurred in training when he was holding a tackle pad, but scans have now confirmed the worst.

Smith explained: “We got the full report this morning. We were first under the impression that he had nipped the cartilage in his meniscus, and we thought it would take two to six weeks, but it ended up that he’s damaged his ACL.

“It will be a nine-month recovery from the time of operation. It’s a lot more severe than first expected.

“It was from a rather innocuous occurrence in the team run last week. He was holding a tackle shield for another player to practice his tackle technique. He stumbled out of that in an awkward way. He didn’t think it was that bad at the time, but obviously it is.”

Who is Hull FC youngster Nick Staveley?

Staveley debuted for Hull FC in May 2023 when he came off the bench during a Challenge Cup win over Castleford Tigers with the 20-year-old making a further seven appearances for the Black and Whites in his career.

Five of those appearances have come in the current 2024 season with Staveley playing in all games bar the two Hull derbies, missing both Round One and Round Six.

Perhaps more impressive is that Staveley has been a starter in those games and had been one of the shining lights in the struggling Hull FC side, which Smith has referenced in his presser.

He noted:  “It’s a real blow for Nick. I feel for the young man. He was doing a good job for us, and he was starting to find his feet and get some regular game time in first grade. He’s taken the news very, very well and very positively. He won’t feel sorry for himself. He’s just got to get on with rehabilitating the best he can and get back as early as he can.

“Nick has a support network here with all sorts of staff. We’re a pretty close-knit group anyway, and we’ll take care of him. We’ll make sure of that.”

There was also other injury news for Hull FC with captain Danny Houghton set to miss the weekend’s game, but also potentially FC’s Round Eight game against St Helens.

Smith had confirmed Houghton had suffered a rib injury in the derby, and he provided an update:  “Danny is sore. I’m unsure what the time-frame is but he won’t be available this week. He may need to numb it before he plays again, and after Huddersfield, we have a week off. That may give him enough time to make the game after that. We’ll play it by ear.”

Another who looks set for a spell on the sidelines is Jack Ashworth with Smith confirming that he had cracked a bone in his thumb with the forecast being a six-week recovery time.

There were positives in that Liam Tindall and Joe Cator are back in contention this week but Davy Litten remains out after his skull fracture injury.

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