Sam Tomkins is in line to make his comeback in Wigan’s next home match.
The May 13 clash against Hull FC is shaping as the likely game for the full-back to make his first appearance of the year.
Tomkins – who returned from the NRL in the off-season – is now back in full training after recovering from major knee surgery which kept him out of the England team last November. Wigan have two games before then – both away – against Warrington this Thursday night and then 10 days later at Dewsbury in the Challenge Cup.
Coach Shaun Wane said: “Sam’s now training and we’re getting closer with him.
“If we could have got a couple of weeks into him I might have given him a run (against Warrington), but we’ve not had that.
“It’s unlikely he’ll play against Dewsbury so I think it’ll be a spell in the Hull FC game the week after.” Former Man of Steel Tomkins left Wigan at the end of 2013 to join NZ Warriors.
He cut short his three-year deal to return to his hometown club this season and fans are eager to see him back in the Cherry and White.
Wane says he has already made his presence felt in training.
“He’s very competitive, he speaks well, he’s a good help as a coach – he’s got everything he did have before, but he’s a bit more mature,” he said. “He’s still an annoying little swine, but that’s part of his likeability!”
Elsewhere, England halfback George Williams is expected to feature in Thursday’s game at the Halliwell Jones Stadium after seven weeks out with a back injury.
But Wane’s hopes other frontline stars may return to the side have faded.
Sean O’Loughlin, Joel Tomkins, Dom Manfredi and Dom Crosby are all close to full fitness but are unlikely to feature.
And England forward Liam Farrell is struggling with a rib injury which keeps him out the picture.