Luke Walsh: St Helens scrum-half could be fit for start of 2015
St Helens are hopeful that Luke Walsh will be fit for the start of the 2015 season after confirming the scrum-half broke his fibula against Widnes.
The 27-year-old was hurt during Saints' 44-22 win on Friday.
"Our initial thought was to fear the worst," said coach Nathan Brown.
"But after his X-ray and an operation, it appears that it will be a four or five month injury, rather than a seven or eight month injury, as long as things progress reasonably well."
Speaking immediately after the match, Brown revealed Walsh had suffered a serious lower-leg injury, suggesting it was either a compound fracture or a dislocated ankle.
And, although Walsh should return quicker than expected, his absence for the remainder of the campaign will be a big blow for St Helens, who are top of the table with five matches of the regular season left to play.
Walsh joined from NRL club Penrith Panthers prior to the 2014 season and has been an influential attacking figure for the team, scoring five tries and kicking 66 goals in Super League.
Brown is likely to field Jordan Turner, primarily used as a centre, and Gary Wheeler as his half-back combination against Hull FC on Friday.
"Jordan and Gary filled in well during the second half [against Widnes]," he told BBC Radio Merseyside. "That seems like a nice natural progression for us at this stage.
"We've got the option of Shannon McDonnell at full-back and moving Paul Wellens into the halves, but at this stage we'll run with that."