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Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis is expected to be out of action for between 10 and 12 weeks with a foot injury.
The Black and Whites veteran limped out of the pre-match warm-up against Leeds on the opening day of the Super League season, and scans have revealed he sustained a stress fracture in his foot.
The club have confirmed he does not require surgery but he faces a lengthy period of treatment and rehabilitation, although head coach Peter Gentle admitted the prognosis could have been far worse.
He said: "We've had a number of possible outcomes over the last few days and that's why we have taken our time over this to ensure we make the best decision for Gareth and the team.
"Six weeks is about the best we could have hoped for so that is a big positive for us and then from there we can see how he is.
"We have to be realistic, he'll probably need at least four to five weeks from getting the boot off to get back running on the foot and build up his fitness again, so we're looking at something around 10-12 weeks.
"We'll certainly take that, there were a number of scenarios that could have meant a longer period on the sidelines, but we won't rush him back as this isn't just about now, it's about making sure it doesn't happen again.
"Gareth's attitude and commitment throughout this testing time has been second to none. He's insisted on remaining part of the group, he's been taking his role of captain very seriously and he is hungry to play as a big a part as he can from the sidelines.
"It won't be long before we can get him back on the field and one thing that is for sure is he'll certainly be raring to go when he gets his chance."