Bateman situation “still the same”

John Bateman has been a leading contender for the Man of Steel

John Bateman has been a leading contender for the Man of Steel

John Bateman is unlikely to return to the Wigan side this week, admitted Shaun Wane.

The saga surrounding the England international is now into a second week.

Wane was asked at his weekly press conference today whether Bateman may come back into the fold for Friday’s trip to Hull KR.

“No, the situation is still the same,” he said. “The investigation is still ongoing.

“Nothing has changed from last week.”

Asked whether there was a time-frame, he replied: “Not that I’m aware of.”

Bateman didn’t play against Salford last Friday despite being named in the initial 19-man squad.

Shaun Wane gave no explanation, other than to say he was “not available for selection”.

But given his absence came just days after an investigation was launched into claims two players were fighting outside a town centre gym, Bateman was inevitably linked to the off-field controversy.

Wigan have promised a full statement once they have concluded their own investigation.

Bateman, 22, has been in outstanding form this season and was the bookmakers’ favourite for the coveted Man of Steel.