Casualty Ward: St Helens latest, Catalans nightmare & failed head injury assessments

Josh McAllister
Mark Percival, St Helens, Casualty Ward. PA Images

Keep up to date with the latest injury news in Casualty Ward, this week including updates from St Helens and Castleford, while Catalans suffered a nightmare week.

St Helens latest

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens confirmed ahead of their fixture with Castleford that Joe Batchelor will be sidelined for up to 10 weeks. The back-rower recently underwent successful surgery on an ankle injury sustained against St George Illawarra Dragons.

Wellens commented: “We’re thinking about eight-to-10 weeks. Probably more 10, which is obviously disappointing. But it’s part and parcel of the game and those things that we have to deal with. 

“Knowing Joe like we do here, he’s really diligent in the way he goes about his work. He’ll do everything he can to get himself back on the field sooner rather than later.”

Meanwhile, James Roby missed the fixture with Castleford as the 37-year-old hooker was sent for scans upon the club’s return to England.

Curtis Sironen missed the game through illness, while Tommy Makinson watched on due to head injury assessment protocols.

Wellens confirmed that forward Agnatius Paasi could be back for their game against Leeds, if not for Leigh. Will Hopoate is also expected to return against Leigh in two weeks.

Mark Percival rolled an ankle and will be further assessed this week.

Catalans nightmare

Catalans head coach Steve McNamara admitted his side struggled with the ‘worst week ever’ through injuries and sickness ahead of their game with Leigh.

The French outfit were still feeling the after-effects of playing on Wakefield’s pitch the week before, having gone on to beat the Leopards 14-6 in their first home fixture of 2023.

“We’ve had the worst week ever with sickness and infections from injuries sustained in our first game at Wakefield,” McNamara said.

“We’ve lost a number of players, so to do that tonight against a very good Leigh side was incredible.

“Seven players had infections this week following injuries sustained on the pitch at Wakefield in round one.

“It’s been the most difficult week for this club for a long time and I’m proud of the way the players have responded.”

Matt Whitley missed out due to a shoulder injury, while Adam Keighran was a late pull out, having originally been named in their starting 17. 

Manu Ma’u has also returned to New Zealand earlier last week on compassionate grounds following the passing of his father.

Failed head injury assessments

Leeds’ Morgan Gannon failed his head injury assessment during the side’s defeat to Hull on Friday. Concussion protocols were increased to 12-days ahead of the 2023 campaign.

Hull’s Jordan Lane was also taken off for a HIA, with head coach Tony Smith yet to give an update on the forward.

Wakefield’s update following defeat

Wakefield boss Mark Applegarth provided the latest on Kelepi Tanginoa following their 60-0 defeat to Wigan at the DW Stadium. He had just returned to the field for the first time of the 2023 season.

Applegarth said: “Kelepi, it’s not his hamstring that we’ve just recovered him from, it’s his other leg. So we’ll have to have a look at that and see how bad that one is going to be.

“I’ll see the physios, I think that’s the serious one but I’ll see what other bumps and bruises we’ve got. I think there are more bruised egos and pride if I’m being perfectly honest, including my own.”

Reece Lyne missed the game due to a “medical issue” confirmed Applegarth.

Meanwhile, Matt Peet admitted his side suffered no knocks in the home victory.

Jake Connor’s return

Huddersfield coach Ian Watson has revealed star signing Jake Connor could make his first appearance of 2023 against Wakefield next week.

“Jake will be ready in week three or four,” Watson said. “He’s looking really good in training, he’s not too far off.”

If not Wakefield, he could make his return the week later against Castleford.

Jake Mamo

Jake Mamo was taken off due to back injury during Castleford’s home defeat to St Helens. The club will assess the outside-back during the week.

Our Casualty Ward feature is out every week with the latest injury news.

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