WOLVES boss Tony Smith has confirmed that his squad will be depleted of Chris Bridge for the opening weeks of the Super League season.

But the head of coaching and rugby believes that the time taken to heal the centre’s long-standing problem with tendonitis in his knee will be worthwhile.

“Chris is progressing well and he seems to be in good order ahead of what should be a big season for him,” said Smith.

“He has kept himself in good shape despite the operations and has fixed up some long-term problems, so he is on track.”

Simon Grix and Tyrone McCarthy are also expected to miss the opening game against Castleford Tigers on February 3 as they complete their preparations after close-season surgery.