Jon Wilkin’s season is over after he suffered a dislocated shoulder.
The influential co-captain’s enforced absence is a stinging blow to Saints play-off chances coming just a week after the loss of player-maker Luke Walsh.
England ace Wilkin hurt his shoulder during last month’s clash with Salford but aggravated the injury on resuming first team duties.
He is now booked in to go under the surgeon’s knife on Friday but expects to be back playing for the start of next season.
“I’m done for the year,” the 30-year-old told the Reporter. “I’m devastated, to be honest, this is never how you want your season to end.”
Wilkin damaged his shoulder in July but after a short break in Super League matches the experienced utility player felt he’d recovered sufficiently to return to first team action.
He said: “After the Challenge Cup break it felt strong enough to play again but when I played it was just clear it had gone.
“I’m devastated because I’m desperate to be involved in this part of the season, especially as we have a great chance in the play-offs.”
Despite his disappointment at being sidelined, the irrepressible Wilkin remains upbeat about Saints play-off hopes.
“The team is in a great position,” he said. “Certainly we’ve lost myself and Luke, as well as Lance Hohaia, and we’re senior players but also the vocal members of the team.
“It is now for other members of the team to step up and take on more responsibility.
“Myself and Luke in the team, we talk and we organise, someone else is going to have to do that now.”
He added: “We are in a great position, perhaps two victories away from securing top spot.
“Does losing seniors players make winning the Grand Final more difficult? Yes. Does it make it impossible? No.
“This side is certainly capable of going a long way in the play-offs but it is up to the players to pull together and make it happen.”