Saints coach Nathan Brown has backed Jonny Lomax to bounce back better than ever after after the star full-back suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Lomax, 23, was jinking his way out of defence against Catalans Dragons at the weekend when his left leg crumpled beneath him.
Brown admitted he knew instantly that his injury-plagued star had snapped his cruciate ligaments because of the freak nature of the incident, in which Lomax went down in agony with no opposition player near him.
“The poor kid’s had to recover from a cruciate injury on his other knee and has got over some other nasty injuries over the years,” Brown said.
“I knew it was bad when he went down with nobody around him - they’re always the worst ones.
“There’s no player at any club that works harder or makes more sacrifices, and he loves playing for this club. You can’t help but feel for him.
“It’s disappointing for the game in general - he’s one of the more exciting players in the game.
“But he’s still young - he’ll get over it and come back better and stronger next year.”
The loss of Lomax is likely to see skipper Paul Wellens revert to his old full-back berth for the remainder of the season.
Although Wellens, 34, is a different style of player, Brown said he had every confidence in his skipper being a more than adequate replacement.
“The advantage for us is that we have Wello who’s very experienced. Everyone knows his strengths and he’s played a few games at full back for us this year already.
“You could argue that having his leadership on the field at all times could prove an advantage for us too. I’m sure it will be a smooth transition.
“Wello’s full-back savvy and he’s tough, which you need to be to play full-back in the modern game. He suffered a head injury against Catalans but he should be alright to face Castleford this weekend.”