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Warrington Wolves unsure when Monaghan will return from injury
After last week’s Challenge Cup defeat of Bradford Bulls, Smith hinted that Wolves fans would see the return of the Warrington’s 2011 player of the year after several weeks on the sidelines recovering from double knee surgery.
But only a few days later, the former England coach has been forced to revise his estimate.
“It is very unlikely that he will play this weekend,” said Smith.
“He would have to have a big turnaround between now and the end of the week for him to be available.
“He is struggling a little bit at the moment and he is trying desperately hard to get himself back on the field and pain free, but he is not quite there yet.”
Monaghan underwent double knee surgery to fix persistent cartilage problems in March, rushing himself back from recovery in order to help Wolves to victory in the 22-20 victory over Wigan at the DW Stadium before struggling in the 28-16 defeat to St Helens a week later.
Since then, Micky Higham and youngster Brad Dwyer have deputised well in his absence, but with a vital Challenge Cup quarter final to come in two weeks time against Catalan Dragons in Perpignan -the stage for one of Warrington’s heaviest defeats of recent seasons a few weeks back- Smith admitted that he is a player they want back in action as soon as possible.
“I think Micky and Brad have done a good job in the last few weeks,” said Smith.
“But we are talking about a world class player in Michael Monaghan, so to say that we don’t miss him at all would be wrong.”