St Helens send Alex Walmsley for further checks as coach provides injury update on quartet

Ben Olawumi
Alex Walmsley, Matty Lees, Jake Wingfield, Mark Percival

Clockwise from top left: St Helens' Alex Walmsley, Matty Lees, Mark Percival & Jake Wingfield

It’s three good, one (semi) bad on the injury front for St Helens with the headline news that Alex Walmsley is being sent for further checks on his knee, with the club hoping no additional issues are found to the prop’s hamstring strain.

Walmsley limped off 66 minutes into Saints’ Challenge Cup exit against Warrington Wolves at the Totally Wicked Stadium last Sunday.

And while the hamstring problem he has picked up in that 31-8 defeat is the main issue, he is having further checks carried out on his knee, as confirmed by boss Paul Wellens.

St Helens send Alex Walmsley for further checks on knee problem

Providing an injury update in his press conference ahead of the Red V’s Super League clash with Hull FC on Friday night, Wellens said: “He (Walmsley) is likely to be out for at least a couple of weeks.

“We are actually sending him for some checks on his knee as well this week, so we’re waiting for some information back on that as to whether he’s going to be any longer. We’re not expecting it to be a surgical case.

“He had a hamstring strain at the weekend, so that’s going to keep him out for a few weeks, the knee is an additional thing that we’re just having a look at as well.

“We’re hoping the initial injury with the hamstring, that’ll be the timeframe in terms of Al and how long it keeps him out for.

“Obviously Al is going to be a big miss for us, he’d be a big miss for anybody. However, when we went without him for a prolonged period at the back end of last year, we handled it really well. That’s our challenge again”

Paul Wellens provides positive injury update on further trio

Saints’ last Super League outing saw them beaten in Perpignan by Catalans Dragons, with youngster Jake Wingfield having to see a specialist after that game with a shoulder problem.

Wingfield sat out Sunday’s cup tie against Warrington, and is likely to be sidelined for a few more weeks yet, but the specialist’s verdict was a pleasing one, as Wellens detailed: “We’ve had some good news with Wingy. It’s a non-surgical case, so we just have to rehabilitate his shoulder and get the strength back in his shoulder.

“We’re hoping that might just be a couple of weeks. If it’s a week or two longer than that, then so be it.

“I can’t say a definite timeframe, it’ll just be when the strength comes back, but it’s obviously good news in terms of him not requiring any surgery.”

In the immediate future, Wellens and all of a Saints persuasion will be able to mark the return of both Mark Percival & Matty Lees come Friday night, with that pair named in the 21-man squad.

Percival has been out since the Good Friday victory against Wigan Warriors, failing a HIA and needing to see a specialist having been on the end of the high tackle which saw Liam Byrne red carded.

Lees meanwhile has also been absent since that Good Friday clash with Wigan, handed a two-game ban in the aftermath which wasn’t overturned – or downgraded – on appeal. Accordingly, he has missed the defeats to both Catalans & Warrington.

And with both back available, Wellens told the St Helens Star earlier this week: “Mark is champing at the bit to get out there again and feeling no ill-effects from the knock he took a few weeks ago.

“That is a great sign – he has had the all-clear from our specialist and we followed the protocol and we are very comfortable with him playing this week.

“In Matty and Mark we have got a couple of guys who will come in and freshen things up.”