Paul Wellens puts time frame on injured star

Paul Wellens will naturally look back on the trip to Australia as a huge success as his St Helens side were crowned Champions of the World but it came at a cost.

One of their top players in the shape of Joe Batchelor has had ankle surgery after an injury against St George Illawarra Dragons.

Wellens has now revealed that he will be out for two months: “Joe Batchelor is going to be out for long term.

“We’re thinking about 8-10 weeks, probably more 10. It is disappointing but part of the game. It is one of the things we have to deal with.

“Knowing Joe like we do here, he is a top professional so will do everything he can to get back on the field sooner rather than later.”

He also gave an update on Tommy Makinson after his head injury:

“He wasn’t happy, players want to play in big games. He is a real big game player. We’re at a point know where we understand head injuries now, the game has moved on and it’s about welfare. It was a decision made in his best interest whether he agreed with it at the time.

“Yeah he won’t be available this weekend, he has got to go through the protocol.

“It is a blow losing a player of his calibre but as we saw last week, players can come in and do a good job.”

In another worry for Saints, James Roby is set for a scan:

“There’s a few with bumps and bruises and getting scans. James Roby has gone for scans. We’ll make a late call on James.

“We’re understanding that there’s a lot of rugby to be played. We don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on players where we don’t have to be my mindset is going with our strongest possible 17 against Castleford.”

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