Ben Crooks suffered a broken vertebra during his Hull KR’s 22-12 defeat of London Broncos on Sunday, the Super League club have announced.
After failing to return to the field for the second half, the former Hull, Castleford and Leigh winger was taken to hospital for x-rays and scans for a full diagnosis of the injury.
Rovers say Crooks will be sidelined for up to six weeks.
“Hull Kingston Rovers can confirm that Ben Crooks will be sidelined for up to six weeks after suffering a back injury against London Broncos last weekend,” a club statement read.
“The club will work closely with Ben to ensure he returns to full fitness and ready for match action as soon as possible.”
Crooks admitted he was worried about the severity of his injury when doctors sent him for a CT scan after initial tests.
“When I got there I had an X-ray and the doctor said I had a chipped piece of bone,” Crooks told the Yorkshire Post. “But they then sent me for a CT scan to get a better picture of it.
“As soon as he said that – that I needed more scans and tests – it did set my heart racing a little.
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“You start wondering if it will heal on its own, will I need surgery to have something corrected, is it career-threatening or even life-threatening?
“When it comes to your spine or your neck you do start to think the worst; things flash through your head pretty quickly.
“But luckily it’s not a bad one. It will keep me out for at least six weeks and I’ll be in a bit of pain, but it’s nothing too threatening.”