Saints say the injury to playmaker Luke Walsh is not as serious as initially feared, but he is still expected to be sidelined for several weeks.
The Australian scrum-half, who has been dogged by a series of ankle injuries since his arrival in Super League two-and-a-half years ago, limped off just two minutes into Saints’ 32-24 defeat by Hull last Saturday amid fears that he was set to face another lengthy lay-off.
However, coach Keiron Cunningham allayed those fears and hopes that Walsh, one of only two players to have started all 18 of Saints’ matches in 2016, will be back in time to lead his side’s Super 8s charge.
“It’s a lower-leg injury, nothing to do with old injuries,” Cunningham said. “It’s not as bad as we initially thought.
“We’ve got to see how it responds in the next week or so.
“It’s nothing major, but I don’t think we’ll see him in the next few weeks.”
Cunningham could call on another Australian half-back, Travis Burns, who is currently playing for the club’s reserves, for Friday’s derby with Warrington at Langtree Park, but is more likely to stick with versatile captain Jon Wilkin as the temporary partner for Theo Fages after they combined effectively against Hull.
“Wilko did a great job in the halves,” Cunningham said. “Theo needs a strong half with him and he complements him well.
“We’ll probably stick with that formation, although we’ve a couple days more training so we’ll have a look at all our options and which suits the team the best.”