Mike Cooper injury verdict as Wigan Warriors prop avoids worst-case scenario

Aaron Bower
Mike Cooper Wigan Warriors Alamy

Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet has confirmed that prop Mike Cooper will be ruled out for the next six weeks due to injury – but insists it could have been much worse.

Cooper left the field during the World Club Challenge victory against Penrith Panthers with a knee problem, and scans have subsequently revealed he needs an operation to correct the issue.

However, the problem is much less severe than first feared, with the Warriors initially worried that Cooper could have been ruled out for up to five months with an injury like the one suffered by young forward Junior Nsemba.

“Mike Cooper has some good news, he’s going to be six weeks with his knee injury,” Peet told reporters during his weekly media conference. “There were two options, one was much longer-term, but it turns out he just needs a bit of a tidy up on his knee.

IN-DEPTH: Analysing Leigh Leopards’ squad situation after early-season injury issues

“The other end of the spectrum was an injury the same as Junior Nsemba, which is about five months. We’re happy for Mike there.”

Wigan will be without another key forward for Saturday’s trip to the capital to face London Broncos too, with prop Liam Byrne set to sit that match out.

Byrne withdrew in the warm-up prior to Wigan’s game against Huddersfield last weekend with a hip problem, and that is sufficient enough to sideline him for the visit to London to take on Mike Eccles’ side.

Hooker Kruise Leeming will also be missing – though he is closing in on a return to full fitness after an ankle problem.

NOW READ: James Bentley reputation is ‘inaccurately framed’, says Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith