Hull will be without new signing Josh Reynolds for between four and six weeks due to a hamstring injury.
The former Wests Tigers stand-off has made an impressive start to his career with the Black and Whites, with three tries in his first two appearances, but limped out of Sunday’s round two win over Salford with a hamstring injury.
“We thought it was a low-grade hamstring tear but the scans have shown it’s worse than that so we’re looking at four to six weeks,” said Hull coach Brett Hodgson.
“He’s very disappointed but we’ll make sure he gets the best treatment and he’ll be working hard to get back asap.”
Hodgson says he was not tempted to switch Jake Connor away from his new full-back role and will instead turn to Ben McNamara, the 19-year-old son of Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara, to deputise for Reynolds in Saturday’s Betfred Challenge Cup third-round tie at Featherstone.
“It gives Ben McNamara a really good chance of showing what he can do,” Hodgson said.
“We’re excited about what he’s done in pre-season and we’re definitely confident Ben can fill that void.
“He’s a confident boy and he’s learning his role in the group. He’ll have some help around him.”
McNamara made a try scoring debut at Castleford last October and went on to make three other Super League appearances.
Hodgson is confident Reynolds’ half-back partner Marc Sneyd will be fit for the cup tie after limping out of the Salford game with a “dead leg” but forward Ligi Sao is ruled out with an ankle injury.
“Ligi goes in for scans this afternoon,” Hodgson said. “He’s walking around at the moment so we think he should be okay for next week’s game against Warrington but he will miss out this week.”
Hull were Wembley winners in 2016 and 2017 and Hodgson also has fond memories of the Challenge Cup, having won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match in Warrington’s win over Leeds in 2012.
“I love the competition,” he said. “I love that it’s a knockout format and that you have to be at your best to progress every single week.
“It poses a different challenge but a big challenge for us playing against Featherstone.
“They’re a high-quality team who are well coached by James Webster and have got many ex-Super League players who are still playing at a good level.”