St Helens second rower Sia Soliala will miss around 10 weeks of action due to a foot injury.
Soliola, 26, has missed just one of Saints’ 19 Super League and cup matches so far this year, but he will now be sidelined after requiring an operation.
Coach Nathan Brown tried to look on the positive side. He said, “It is disappointing to lose Sia, but the upside is that it gives another player the chance to step up and stake a claim for a place.
“Our squad as a whole has gained vital experience throughout the course of the year and I have no doubt we will adapt and continue to develop.”