Hull KR have suffered an injury blow to new signing Frankie Halton less than a month before the new Super League season gets underway.
The Ireland international joined the Robins in the off-season on a two-year deal from part-time Championship outfit Featherstone.
Halton is currently enjoying his first taste of being in a full-time environment. However, he is unlikely to be fit for the start of the season after tearing his pec on Saturday.
Hull KR coach Tony Smith said: “Frankie Halton tore his pec muscle in the gym. He was lifting weights and he felt a little strain.
“Unfortunately, I think it is going to put him out for around a month I’d say. He has got a 2cm tear in his pec, so it is a bit of a blow for Frankie.
“As I’ve said to him, it is going to be a long season. He’ll have plenty of opportunities. I’m a bit disappointed for him because he’s been one of the really impressive boys and one of our new boys. He wants to make an impression on his start her with us. Unfortunately, that will be a little delayed now.”
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Frankie Halton on fulfilling Super League dream
“He has been fantastic in a full-time environment”
The good news for Halton is that his injury doesn’t require surgery and won’t be sidelined for much longer than four weeks.
Smith has been very impressed with the forward since his arrival at the start of pre-season.
Smith added: “He’s strong. Our players struggle to put him to ground. He is a difficult person to tackle and he’s tough with it.
“The other thing that has impressed me is his ability to learn. He came to us raw. He looks like someone who has been at Championship level and not full-time in some of his decision making and that’s no disrespect to him. We knew this and I know his previous coach James Webster very well and James kept saying to me ‘in a full-time environment he’ll excel, he’ll learn better and easier’.
“When you are not practicing full-time it is difficult to learn things because you aren’t doing them as regularly but Frankie has revelled in it.
“He has been fantastic in a full-time environment and I’ve noticed an improvement in him with the way he has taken things on and his knowledge. He has been very impressive.
“I’m going to say biggest improvement I’ve seen is Frankie probably. In terms of some things he wasn’t doing before he got here that he is now doing. He is one of the greatest improvers.”