Peter Gentle labels Hull FC players 'courageous' after revealing extent of side's injury woes
PETER Gentle has labelled his Hull FC players 'courageous' after revealing for the first time the extent of his side's injury woes.
Much has been made of Hull's injury crisis this season, with the club having to use 34 players during the regular season – and bring in two more on loan.
With the season now over and his players heading off for operations and recuperation, Gentle has heaped praise on his team, and none more so than captain Andy Lynch.
The Hull coach revealed how his prop has played the entire season with a broken bone in his wrist, from an injury suffered in the pre-season friendly with Hull KR.
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It has seen the prop have pain-killing injections to get through matches each week, rather than leaving his side short by missing a chunk of games mid-season for it to recover.
"At the back end of the season we had so many players getting needled up and there were some who couldn't have injections because of where their injuries were," Gentle told the Mail.
"It is a massive testament to the character of this squad that the boys did as well as they did.
"There were some real courageous efforts, no more so than Lynchy who broke a bone in his wrist against Hull KR in pre-season and has had injections every week since to allow him to keep playing on for us and not have to spend time out of the team.
"Finally, now he can get that repaired and it typifies the sacrifice the boys have made this season to get on the field for this team."
Lynch was just one of a handful of players having pain-killing injections to allow them to feature in Hull's bid to make the Grand Final, as a season of injuries and lack of numbers took its toll on the squad.
Centre Kirk Yeaman has this week had a clear-out operation on his ankle which has troubled him all year, while Danny Tickle has gone back under the knife for the second time in an effort to correct a bicep injury that saw him play just 20 minutes in the final three months of the campaign.
Prop Liam Watts sustained a broken thumb in the play-off defeat to Warrington, while scans have also revealed ligament damage.
He has also gone under the knife and will have his protective cast taken off just in time to start pre-season.
Meanwhile, Mark O'Meley will have his knee injury assessed further after limping away from the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
"There's plenty of guys having surgery and there's people like Tom Lineham who still have a long way to go with their rehab, but now is the time to get everyone fixed up," said Gentle.