Hull KR youngster Joe Wardill will miss the next six months with a hip complaint.
Wardill underwent an operation on both hips earlier this week to remove pieces of bone from his pelvis and leg.
The problem is a naturally occurring issue rather than the result of an injury and one which the England Academy international has managed throughout his career so far.
However, following tests at the start of pre-season, Wardill’s first with the senior squad, the club’s medical staff have discovered the extent of the problem and the outside back has had surgery to prevent any further long-term damage.
Hull Kingston Rovers head coach Tim Sheens said: “Joe is going to return sooner than Matty and credit it to him for playing with these growths on his hips for the last few years.
“However, full-time training in pre-season has exposed the issue and this is the right time to get it corrected.
“You learn how to become a professional footballer through injury. It shows young players that they are not bullet proof and they have to learn to bring themselves back from a challenging place mentally and physically.
“However, we’ve got plenty of experience at the club to support them over the coming months and help them to come back stronger.”