SAINTS have been dealt a crushing double injury blow after Josh Perry and Ade Gardner were both told they are facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Head coach Nathan Brown confirmed this week that Aussie prop forward Perry, 32, was “very doubtful” to play again this year as he requires surgery on an injured chest muscle.
Saints are also taking things gently with wing ace Gardner, 29, who was knocked out cold for the second time this season following a sickening clash with Huddersfield forward Anthony Mullally earlier this month.
He previously suffered concussion after being knocked unconscious in the Good Friday game at Wigan and is now facing an “indefinite” spell out.
Brown said: “Josh hurt his pec (pectoralis) a little while ago. He came back and tried to play but needs an operation - and that’s just about going to see him out.
“He desperately wanted to play on but he’s now very doubtful to play again this year. It’s not career-ending but it’s definitely the end of his season.
“Losing Josh definitely hurts us but big Alex Walmsley is coming on well and we’ve got the likes of Tony Puletua, who has been playing well, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and some of the younger lads to call on too. We feel like we can try to get by.
“Ade is coming on but we won’t be seeing him back for an extended period. He came back after three weeks following the Wigan game but will be missing more time this time.
“It’s more of a medical decision as to when he comes back but, at the moment, he’s out indefinitely. We won’t see him in the near future.”
On a brighter note, Brown reported that the Saints players involved in the England vs Exiles game at the weekend had returned to the club with nothing more than a few bumps and bruises.
And he admitted that the game had come at the perfect time for key Saints player James Roby following his return from injury - ahead of Friday’s clash with bottom-of-the-table Salford.
“It was good for James. He had played really well for us the week before and it wasn’t a bad thing for him to have another game,” he said.
“I thought Lance Hohaia played well for the Exiles too and he’s back in contention this week, as are Luke Thompson and Mark Percival. Thompson was set to play against Bradford the last time but suffered a virus during the week.”