St Helens dealt huge Alex Walmsley blow as Paul Wellens delivers damning injury update

Aaron Bower
Alex Walmsley St Helens SWpix

Alex Walmsley returns for St Helens - Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

St Helens could be without Alex Walmsley for up to four months after it emerged the prop could require knee surgery.

Reports emerged earlier this week that Walmsley was looking at an extended lay-off, after picking up a hamstring strain last week. The club also sent him for precautionary scans to check for further damage to the prop’s knee.

But those scans have come back with a damning verdict, and as well as being ruled out for eight weeks with that hamstring problem, the prospect of knee surgery could potentially double that timeframe on the sidelines.

Paul Wellens confirmed the news after the Saints‘ 13-12 victory over Huddersfield on Thursday night, admitting it was a difficult piece of news to take if the Saints opt to go down the route of having surgery.

He said: “The hamstring injury is a six to eight week one, but it’s looking like Al may require knee surgery as well.

“If that’s the case it’ll keep him out for double that period. It’s a disappointing one if that’s the route we go down, but the challenge for us as a group is to do what we did last year when we were without big Al last year for long periods.”

Without Walmsley, the Saints ground out a win against Huddersfield to move top of the table, after overcoming a 12-0 deficit to defeat Ian Watson’s in-form Giants.

Midway through the first half, Wellens opted for a dramatic reshuffle of his spine, with Jon Bennison taken off and Jack Welsby reverting to fullback, with Moses Mbye slotting in at half-back.

And when asked about that decision post-match, Wellens said: “There was nothing wrong with what Jon Bennison was doing but I thought our attack was becoming a little bit too predictable.

“When you have two quality players like Jonny and Jack on one side, all Huddersfield were doing was stacking that side of the field with the numbers and dealing with the threat. Splitting Jonny and Jack made us a little bit more potent.”

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