St Helens injury update on long-term absentees as key man nears return

Aaron Bower
Alex Walmsley St Helens SWpix

Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix

St Helens half-back Jonny Lomax is set to return from injury this week, with Morgan Knowles back in the fray next week – and long-term absentees Alex Walmsley and Tommy Makinson are also closing in on returns, too, Paul Wellens has confirmed.

The Saints will be handed a major boost for Friday’s game against Castleford Tigers – and Knowles is set to be fit for the huge derby against reigning champions Wigan Warriors next weekend, too.

“Jonny Lomax has more of a chance at this moment (to face Castleford) in time,” Wellens admitted. “Morgan Knowles and Jonny have trained fully with the squad, but at this stage it’s looking like Jonny will play. Morgan, we’re hoping for next week.”

Further down the line, the likes of Walmsley – who has been out for several months with a hamstring problem – and Makinson, who has a foot problem, appear likely to be the next players in contention to return to full fitness.

“Al is potentially another five weeks off,” Wellens said of the prop.

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“Tommy is maybe three to four – so they’re close, but obviously not close enough.”

That then leaves the likes of Joe Batchelor, Matt Whitley and Jake Wingfield on the sidelines and Wellens insisted that while their seasons are not over, they are still some way off returning to first-team action.

Wellens admitted that the imminent return of Lomax, however, was a major boost.

“He brings quality, big-game experience, leadership, competitiveness, all the attributes that have made him the great player he is for a long period of time,” Wellens said of the half-back.

“We’ve had some decent results and performances while Jonny’s been away and that’s testament to the way the team has responded to losing the captain. But he is the captain, he’s the captain for a reason so he’s going to come back into the team.”

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