St Helens coach delivers mixed injury verdict on Jonny Lomax and Joe Batchelor

Aaron Bower
Joe Batchelor Jonny Lomax St Helens Alamy

Joe Batchelor (left) and Jonny Lomax (right) in action for St Helens

St Helens look set to be without another key player for the next two months after Joe Batchelor underwent surgery: but there is better news on stand-off Jonny Lomax.

Batchelor and Lomax both suffered injuries in the Saints‘ recent victory against Leeds Rhinos, with Paul Wellens admitting in the aftermath of that contest they were braced to be without the pair for extended periods.

And Wellens has now confirmed to Love Rugby League that Batchelor has been forced to undergo ankle surgery to correct a problem with his ligaments, with him set to miss at least the next eight weeks of action.

However, Lomax could return as soon as the first game after the upcoming international break, after sustaining a fracture to his hand.

He said: “Joe Batchelor is in plaster at the moment. He had his surgery last week and he’s going to be eight, nine weeks. It’s going to be a while for Joe. But with Jonny Lomax, he’s likely to come back after the international break which is a real boost for us.”

Paul Wellens also confirmed he has no plans to send Jon Bennison out on loan for more game-time as he waits patiently for an opportunity to return to the Saints’ first-team picture.

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Bennison has been the 18th man for the Saints for a number of weeks, a role he will continue in this Sunday when they head to the capital to face London Broncos.

But Wellens knocked back any suggestion he could leave the club on a short-term basis.

“Jack Welsby is our fullback and Jon has done a great job on the wing,” he said.

“But at the minute, Tommy Makinson and Waqa Blake are playing well. Jon has been out 18th man for a while and he’s likely to be the same at the weekend. I know he’s disappointed, and I want that from the players who are not playing.

“I want him involved in the squad. He’s too important of a player to be sending him anywhere right here, right now. We’ve got a reserves system and a dual-registration partner where we can get him game-time but he’s close to being in the team anyway.”

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