Warrington Wolves could be without James Laithwaite, Stefan Ratchford and new signing Mitchell Dodds for the opening game of the Super League season.
Prop Dodds, who has joined the Wolves from Brisbane Broncos, is due to arrive in Warrington next week. However the 26 year-old is recovering after surgery on his hand and is not guaranteed to be ready to face Leeds Rhinos on February 4th.
“He had the pins out (on Monday) and has got to go and see his consultant on the 16th,” Wolves’ head of coaching Tony Smith told the Warrington Guardian. “Then he’s on the plane to arrive here on the 18th.
“We need the all clear for him from his specialist over there and then he can come.
“It’ll be touch and go for the first game, I reckon. We’ll just have to go partly on his consultant, see how well the operation’s healed and then he should be back around the start of the season time.
“If he missed a game it would only be one, I’d say.”
Meanwhile, Laithwaite has undergone a follow-up operation on his ankle, but Smith doesn’t think the 24 year-old’s return to full fitness has been hindered too much: “James Laithwaite’s follow-up operation has set him back a little bit, but only by about two weeks.”
“If we hadn’t have had it done he probably would have been another three or four months. So it was an operation that was necessary last week. He should be back just after the start of the season.”
And Ratchford hasn’t resumed full-training yet either following knee and shoulder surgery, making him a doubt for the trip to last season’s treble winners. “That’s just part and parcel of rugby league, to treat your injuries, and nobody is doing it better than Stef,” Smith added.
“He’s a bit frustrated. He’d love to be outside with the rest of the boys, but he’s got to be a bit patient with that.
“He’s still indoors and doing some skill work in the barn, but it’s mainly rehab and weights at the moment.”