Wakefield Head Coach Chris Chester has confirmed that Joe Arundel has suffered a setback as he attempts to return to full fitness following pectoral muscle surgery.
The 27-year-old suffered the injury blow at the end of April and was initially expected to be out for up to three months.
But after seven weeks of intense recovery work, Wakefield coaches were hoping of him returning for next week’s clash against the Salford Red Devils.
However, Chester has confirmed that Arundel will be on the treatment table for a little while longer, leaving him with just Reece Lyne, Junior Sa’u and young Jack Croft – who enjoyed a promising first-team debut against St Helens last week – as his centre options.
Ahead of this week’s clash with Leeds, the Trinity Head Coach said: “We’ve still not got Bill Tupou or Joe Arundel back.
“Joe has had a bit of a setback; the surgeon has held him back a little bit, so we’re not too sure on the timescale. He’s training really well, which is why we were so confident.
“The physio thought he’d be back next week. It’s something to do with the graft that he’s had. We’re disappointed for him because he wanted to get back before Bill for obvious reasons!
“He’s only six weeks into a 12-week injury, but we’ve just got to make do with what we’ve got.”
However, Chester did confirm that Salford loanee Junior Sa’u will remain at the Mobile Rocket Stadium for their upcoming matches.
The 32-year-old arrived last month as part of a swap deal, with Pauli Pauli heading in the other direction. Sa’u has made two appearances for Trinity so far, but was absent from last weekend’s matchday squad.
“I think there’s an arrangement in place with Junior and it seems to work for both parties,” Chester said.
“Junior has been great for us; he’s a good talking on the field, a calming influence and a really good character.”
Chester admitted that neither Sa’u or Pauli would take part against their parent clubs next week, but revealed that Mason Caton-Brown could return to his thinking against the Red Devils following a brief injury lay-off.