Jonny Lomax has suffered a major setback in his rehabilitation from his season-ending injury.
But the full-back, who damaged his anterior cruciate ligament just four games into the 2015 campaign, says it could be a blessing in disguise.
The 25-year-old damaged the same knee during the 2014 season.
Lomax, speaking to Saints’ official YouTube channel, said he had picked up an infection after surgery on his knee.
That, he said, had delayed his expected comeback and effectively ruled out any chance he had of playing again in 2015.
“I got back from the injury last year and tried my damnedest to get back playing this year but sadly, it didn’t work out,” he said.
“But I’m not the first person that’s had a setback; everything was going really well and I then had a setback after surgery, suffering an infection which knocked me back a bit.
“That took away any chance I had of playing this year but me being me and always wanting to be back quicker, it might be a blessing in disguise.
“I’m hoping to hit the ground running starting from next year.
“I’m living in the gym, currently trying to put things right and all being well, I’ll be back next year.”
Lomax’s injury nightmare began in 2014 when he suffered a severe knee injury during Saints 42-0 defeat against Catalans Dragons.
Before the injury, his form had seen him earn a call-up to the England squad for their mid-season training camp.
He missed the rest of the season and returned for the start of this campaign but only lasted four games before injuring the same knee.