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  • Robert Snodgrass celebrates after netting against Southampton (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
During the clash with Southampton on the weekend strikers Abel Hernández and Will Keane both were forced off with injury adding to the growing list of absentees in the forward line, writes Jackson Delmenico.
By
Jackson Delmenico

9 Nov 2016 - 7:52 AM  UPDATED 9 Nov 2016 - 7:52 AM

Hernández went down inside the opening 10 minutes with an injury to his groin and Keane soon joined him off the park with a knee injury just 15 minutes later.

The duo join youngster Greg Luer on the injured list, though the 21-year-old hasn’t yet featured in the league only sitting on the bench the opening two rounds of the 2016-17 season before his injury.

Mike Phelan’s side are also absent Adama Diomandé with the Norwegian earning himself a retrospective three match ban for an apparent strike on Bristol City defender Marlon Pack in the latter stages of Hull’s 2-1 win in the EFL Cup. Diomandé has another match to serve on his violent conduct charge and won’t be available for the next league outing.

This leaves Dieumerci Mbokani as the only available legitimate option at centre-forward and despite playing 80 minutes after coming on for Hernández is still recovering from a hamstring injury that had him on the sidelines for a month. The Southampton game was the Congolese striker’s first minutes since the hamstring tear.

Robert Snodgrass also offers a makeshift option up front and was the key man in the weekend’s victory but he too was playing his first minutes after injury. The Scottish international had a faster than expected recovery from an ankle injury and was able to get through the hour of play required after replacing Keane.

The picture for Phelan is rather bleak for the next match at least with very limited options in the striker slot and hinges on some injury hampered players avoiding re-injury. The long-term future is a little more optimistically ambiguous with results still unannounced for Hernández and Keane as well as the return to contention of Diomandé.