St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf has provided the latest on injured duo Tommy Makinson and Will Hopoate as well as a full team update.
Makinson, 30, has been sidelined since the club’s loss to Catalans in Perpignan with a hamstring injury. The goal-kicking winger could make his return for their away clash against Salford this Sunday.
“Tommy Makinson is getting very close,” Woolf said.
“He’s got a chance this week. If he’s not quite there this week as we’ve done all year, we won’t take the risk with him. If he’s not quite there this week, we’ll look at next week.”
Hopoate, 30, picked up an injury during the club’s home win over Huddersfield earlier this month.
The full-back, centre or winger has been limited to just nine appearances in his debut season with St Helens due to several injuries. St Helens coach Woolf confirmed scans revealed a pec injury which will leave Hopoate sidelined for several weeks.
“He’s got an injury to his pec,” Woolf told Love Rugby League. “It’s one that we think and the the specialist thinks that he’s going to be able to get through and play again in the next couple of weeks.
“There’s not a definite timeline. It’s all down to his strength and his recovery.
“Once we’re all comfortable and confident, he’ll come back into the team.
“At the moment, we’re thinking that might be somewhere around – best case scenario – Castleford, or the more likely scenario in Hull FC. Worst case scenario, a week or two after that. As I said, there’s no definite timeline.”
Kristian Woolf provides full squad update
St Helens will welcome back Morgan Knowles from his one-match suspension. However, they have suffered two further injuries.
“Morgan Knowles will come back in this week,” Woolf added.
“He had a one-week suspension. He’s definitely back in. Dan Norman has suffered a bit of a glute injury. It’s not a major one, but he’ll miss a couple of weeks.
“We’ll be getting a number of blokes back in the next few weeks.”
Promising back-rower Matty Foster suffered a knock in his return game featuring for Saints’ reserves against Castleford.
The 21-year-old sustained an injury to the same knee which kept him out for more than nine months.
“Unfortunately he has picked up an injury,” Woolf confirmed.
“He’s hurt his knee that he’s just come back from. We’ve still got to finalise scans there and get him to see a specialist to see where that’s at.”