WARRINGTON Wolves’ new signing Matty Russell looks set to miss the start of the Super League season after sustaining two injuries to the same ankle during the club’s pre-season trip to Australia.
Having arrived back in the UK on Tuesday the Scottish international full back will undergo a scan to determine the extent of the damage, with a possibility that surgery will be required to get the 20-year-old back to full fitness.
“Matty Russell has sustained two ankle injuries,” admitted Wolves boss Tony Smith.
“He injured it not long after we arrived and he re-injured it when he resumed training. So that is a blow for Matty and he won’t participate in the friendlies.
“I don’t think he will have his ankle scanned in time to participate in those games, which is a shame because he has looked good in training.”
The former Wigan Warriors and Gold Coast Titans full back was one of the shining lights of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, providing a spark that Scotland used to surpass all expectations and reach the quarter-final stage.
Russell continued that impressive form when looking sharp in Wolves’ festive friendly against Widnes on December 29.
But missing friendlies against Leigh Centurions on Sunday and Salford next Wednesday means that Russell looks set to suffer a delay to the start of his Wolves chapter as Brett Hodgson’s replacement in the number one shirt.
“It is going to put him behind schedule ahead of the start of the season, I would expect,” added Smith.
“Whether he is back available by the time the season starts is unsure. It depends on how he responds to treatment. He is doing everything he can to get back but I’d suggest he will be behind and that will make it unlikely that he will start the season.”
Russell joins Ben Harrison (abdominal) and Paul Wood (knee) on Wolves’ injury list, with all three unlikely to be available for the season opener against St Helens on February 13.