Saints seem set to wrap skipper James Roby in cotton wool ahead of the play-off semi-finals.
The hooker, who suffered a shoulder problem during the 30-10 home defeat to Wigan Warriors on the last day of August, will miss his third match in succession against Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday.
This game is important of course, but it is the semi-final that will count the mostJustin Holbrook
Head coach Justin Holbrook was unsure earlier this week if his talisman would be fit to face the Wire but eventually ruled him out.
Whether the England international was close to returning for his 27th appearance of the season only he and the staff know but Holbrook has insisted all year that it is his policy not to rest players unless they are unfit.
At the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 32-yea-old one-club man remains on the sidelines for the final home game of the Super 8s against Castleford before launching him against whoever their semi-final opponents are.
It is more likely to be the Wolves who lost 14-12 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on July 26 - Danny Richardsin landing a last-gasp penalty.
Head coach Justin Holbrooksaid: “It’s not ideal that we could be playing them again in a couple of weeks but it is something we will have to deal with.
“This game is important of course, but it is the semi-final that will count the most.”
“It’s not ideal but it is something we will have to deal with.’’
Last 10 meeting ;St Helens 14 Warrington 12 (SLR23, 26/7/18), Warrington 12 St Helens 30 (SLR5, 9/3/18), Warrington 40 St Helens 18 (SLR13, 5/5/17), St Helens 31 Warrington 6 (SLR6, 24/3/17), Warrington 18 St Helens 10 (SLSF, 29/9/16), Warrington 18 St Helens 20 (SLS8-R1, 4/8/16), St Helens 4 Warrington 26 (SLR17, 3/6/16), Warrington 22 St Helens 25 (SLR10, 8/4/16), St Helens 16 Warrington 32 (SLS8-R7, 24/9/15), Warrington 14 St Helens 20 (SLR22, 16/7/15).
Wigan also guaranteed runners-up pot- and a home semi-final tie - with their 13-6 away victory at Huddersfield Giants last night (Thursday).