WARRINGTON Wolves star Blake Austin is due to return to training imminently as he bids to be fit in time for the Challenge Cup final.

The influential stand-off tore a ligament in his left ankle during the Wire’s fiery clash with Catalans Dragons earlier this month, it has been revealed.

But the 28-year-old is expected to return to the training pitch on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Club staff will then assess whether their key player will be able to take to the field against St Helens at Wembley on Saturday.

Austin said: “The injury has come at a bad time of the year.

“Obviously there’s no better healer than time, and time was always going to be against us.

“But I’ve had really good improvements in the short time we’ve had.

“I’m going to give it longer to allow that ligament to heal the best we can before I try and have a trot on the paddock.

“We’ll know definitely from that point where we stand.”

Many Wolves fans will be pinning their cup final hopes on whether their star man is able to recover from his injury sufficiently.

It had initially been thought that Austin had sprained his ankle when he crumpled under a tackle from Catalans forward Greg Bird in the first half of the 30-10 defeat in the south of France.

He added: “The first three or four days after the injury was about getting all the swelling out.

“I did everything I could to do that, and we managed to do that.

“The progress we’ve made in a couple of weeks has been quite pleasing.

“It just needs a little bit of time to allow that ligament that I’ve torn to mend back up.

“There are a few old wives’ tales, but there are no real remedies to allow that to heal.

“We’ve just got to give it as long as we possibly can before we really try and push it and see where we’re at.”

Austin spent part of his recovery recharging his batteries during a trip to Spain with his partner, with head coach Steve Price having made the decision to rest his playmaker for the Super League clash with Saints two weeks ago before he had picked up the injury.

Blake said: “It was always the plan to rest me after Catalans – we were going to get away and refresh ahead of the business end of the season.

“The most important thing at that point was to be on my crutches and to allow the foot to start mending itself.

“It didn’t matter much whether I was in Warrington or in Palma, so Pricey let me get away and clear my head a bit.

“Lying on a sunbed by the pool is a little bit better than a rainy summer in Warrington.

“It’s obviously a gruelling season and I haven’t had a break until then – now we’re back and we’re doing absolutely everything we can so that I can play my part at Wembley.”