After having surgery this week on a broken leg, wing sensation Tommy Makinson has every sympathy from Keiron Cunningham, writes Tom McCooey.
Makinson was on fire for Saints before suffering the injury in Friday’s win over Salford and had notched 13 tries from his 17 starts this term.
But a broken fibula and ankle ligament damage could keep him out until September.
“It’s horrendous,” said Cunningham.
“I’ve been involved in rugby league for what feels like forever - played for 18 years.
“I don’t think I saw a broken leg in my playing career or played with anyone who broke their leg and we’ve had three in less than 12 months.”
But the champions are in a position to tighten their grip in the top two as they prepare for the second phase of the season, and Cunningham has no time to dwell on his growing injury list.
“You can’t account for that in your squad or your team,” he explained. “I think we need some holy water or something! But we’re not a side that complains – we just get on.”
While Cunningham and the rest of the Saints squad prepare to host Wigan in Friday’s derby, Makinson will watch from the sidelines as he begins a lengthy recovery.
And the Saints coach knows it’s a difficult time for a player when they can’t contribute to success on the field.
“I really feel for the players - I’ve been in that dark room on my own where you feel there’s nothing out there for you,” he said. “You’re just injured, doing rehab and going home.
“You don’t feel part of the squad and it’s a real dark place and not a nice place.”
“I feel for Tommy.”