Paul Wellens provides update on injured St Helens trio after Leeds Rhinos victory

Aaron Bower
Lewis Dodd St Helens Alamy

Lewis Dodd of St Helens

Paul Wellens is hopeful St Helens could have Lewis Dodd and Tommy Makinson fit for next Friday’s derby with Wigan Warriors – while he is cautiously optimistic regarding an injury that saw Morgan Knowles leave the field during their Challenge Cup triumph over Leeds.

The Saints booked their place in the quarter-finals of this year’s competition with a comfortable 20-6 victory against the Rhinos. However, they were forced to do so without scrum-half Dodd, who was missing due to an adductor injury that was aggravated in last week’s win at Headingley.

Wellens revealed afterwards to Love Rugby League that they will give Dodd every chance of being fit for the derby next weekend – but they will not rush him or Makinson as the winger closes in on a return from a back issue.

“He’s doing okay,” Wellens said. “He had no chance of playing this week, but we’re a chance he could play next week. We’ll have to assess him during the week. It’s an injury where you don’t want to take unnecessary risks.

“I’ll lean on the physios because that’s their area of expertise but I’m hoping he’ll be back playing. Because he’s a kicker of the ball we didn’t know the extent of the damage, but he’s had a scan and there’s bit of a strain there.”

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Makinson is also in with a chance of returning for the derby against Wigan next week, Wellens confirmed, after missing both victories at Headingley with a back problem that saw him leave the field during the warm-up last Friday.

“He’s a chance,” Wellens said of the England international. “We’ll monitor him during the week. That tight back issue didn’t seem to go away during the week and you don’t want to take unnecessary risks. With Jon Bennison doing such a good job, it would have been a risk. We’re hopeful he comes through and gets back fit. That’s the challenge to see if we can get him there.”

The Saints lost forward Knowles midway through Friday night’s victory with a hand problem, and Wellens confirmed while that will be checked post-match, he is hopeful it is not too significant.

“He took a bang on his arm,” Wellens said. “We don’t envisage it being too serious, the doctor thought it was a bang on the nerve because he couldn’t keep his hand still: it was shaking in a bizarre manner so we’ll get it checked out.

“Morgan said his hand wasn’t great but he wanted to go back out there.”

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