Saints’ head coach Justin Holbrook admitted yesterday that the club could still not put a date on when injured prop forward Alex Walmsley will be fit for first team action again.
The England international went under the surgeon’s knife on a broken bone in his neck which he suffered during St Helens’ 30-12 Super League victory against Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium in March and it was anticipated a scan would follow in June.
This has now been put back until August but Holbrook insisted that it would not affect the time-scale of his recovery programme
He said: “Alex is progressing stage by stage and the surgeon is really happy where he is at this moment in time. We knew it was a long job in the first place and are still not clear when he will available for first team selection.
“We will hopefully know more when he sees the surgeon again in a couple of months’ time.”
The 28-year-old former Batley Bulldogs forward signed a new four year contract at the Totally Wicked Stadium earlier this year after ignoring overtures from NRL clubs following an impressive World Cup Down Under and when he was side lined by a long-term injury in round five of Super League it could have been a hammer blow to Saints’ chance of bringing home silverware this season.
But fellow forwards like Jon Wilkin, Luke Thompson, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Kyle Amor, Zeb Taia, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees and Dom Peyroux have all stepped up to the plate when needed to cope more than adequately with the big man’s absence and that unity pleases the head coach more than anything else.
“I wouldn’t like to single out any one player for special mention - they have all been doing a great job,” said Holbrook, who rates Dewsbury-born Walmsley as Super League’s top prop.