Alex Walmsley hoping to be back for semi-finals despite foot injury

Alex Walmsley SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

England international Alex Walmsley says he is hopeful a foot injury won’t keep him out of the Super League semi-finals.

The 32-year-old suffered the injury in Saints’ 30-10 defeat at rivals Wigan nine days ago. He wore a moon boot at the Super League Dream Team unveiling at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday morning.

“It was bit innocuous to be honest and I wasn’t too aware of it at the time,” Walmsley said. “It was more the after-effects.

“We’re waiting back on some scans so hopefully I’ll be back for the semis, that’s the aim.”

Deja vu for Alex Walmsley

The injury brings back memories for Walmsley of 2020 when he tore a knee cartilage in Saints’ semi-final win over Catalans Dragons. He played through the pain barrier to help them beat Wigan 8-4 in the Grand Final before undergoing surgery.

“I don’t think it’s bothering me as much as my knee did then and hopefully we’ll get some good news,” Walmsley added.

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Playing through the pain barrier

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf admits the injury to Super League’s top front-rower is a concern and says he could once more be asked to go through the pain barrier.

“It could be a similar situation,” Woolf said at the play-off launch which followed the Dream Team unveiling.

“It could be one where he’s got to play with the injury and in some pain. Players do that all the time.

“There’s a big difference between playing hurt and playing injured. If you’re injured you can’t perform, but if you’re hurt and dealing with pain, players do that all the time.

“He showed in the 2020 semi-final and Grand Final that he can play under some duress and with some pain and still get a job done because he’s a very elite player, the best front-rower in the competition. We’re a much better team with him in.

“Obviously he’s a key player for us and, if he can contribute, we’ll have him out on the field.

“We’re very hopeful he’s going to be fine but, if he’s not, we’ve a guy like Agnatius Paasi, who’s probably been one of our best forwards this year, who gets an opportunity to become a starter.

“He’s been wanting an opportunity to start and I know he would thrive in that situation.

“It’s something we’ll sort out early in the week next week. Al’s touch and go at the moment. He’s got CT scans to figure out exactly the extent and where we go with it.”

St Helens have next weekend off and will play the lowest-ranked survivor of the elimination play-offs at the Totally Wicked Stadium on September 17.

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