Hull FC winger Fetuli Talanoa is closing in on a return to the first team ahead of schedule.
The 30-year-old is still FC’s top try scorer this season despite not playing since limping out the Challenge Cup win at Featherstone Rovers almost two months ago , a position he now shares with fellow winger Bureta Faraimo.
The ankle injury which sidelined the popular winger had been expected to keep him out for 12 weeks, with a playing return pencilled in for the first round of matches in the Super 8s.
However, the Mail understands Talanoa has already started running once again and while Thursday’s trip to Huddersfield Giants will come too soon he is now expected to be back before the end of the regular season.
The news will come as a significant boost to coach Lee Radford, who has seen Hakim Miloudi impress in Talanoa’s absence. However, Talanoa’s workload in his own half is a major facet of Hull’s style of play and the winger’s return will be a welcome boost as Hull try to stay on the coattails of the top four ahead of the league splitting.