Hull KR have revealed prop forward Ryan O'Hara has had Achilles surgery and could miss the start of the new Super League campaign.
The 32-year-old former Crusaders front-rower had hoped rest would cure the problem, which began to affect him towards the end of last season.
However, Rovers coach Craig Sandercock admitted an operation to solve the problem became unavoidable.
"The specialist seemed to think that a bit of rest and recovery would bring it back to normal but he was in severe pain with it and the best option was to have surgery," Sandercock said.
"He'll be in a boot for four weeks and after that he'll start running so we are racing against time for him to be fit for round one."
O'Hara had the operation last week and missed the club's warm-weather training camp in Tenerife in order to undergo rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, Sean Gleeson and Evarn Tuimavave also missed the trip to Tenerife due to injury and visa issues respectively but the new signings are expected to make their debuts in against Catalan Dragons on 3 February.
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