Jamie Peacock has praised the courage of George Lawler after the Hull Kingston Rovers forward played 40 minutes against Leigh Centurions with a broken back.
Lawlor will miss the remaining two games of Rovers' season after scans showed he had suffered fractured vertebrae in his lower back in the qualifiers encounter.
The 21-year-old somehow managed to play on without realising the extent of his injury, something lauded by head of rugby Peacock.
"He needs to be commended for his courage and bravery in playing through such an injury. He really is as tough as they come," Peacock told the club website.
"It was only after the game that scans picked up the fracture and unfortunately it means he won't play again this season. However, the specialists and our own medical staff are very confident there will be no lasting damage and we'll have him back for the start of pre-season training."
Rovers face a battle with Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils for the final automatic place in Super League.