Dom Manfredi injury blow - what are Wigan Warriors' wing options?
Dom Manfredi will miss the start of the season, Adrian Lam has confirmed.
He told Wigantoday the winger's thumb injury, which he suffered in training, will sideline him for up to a month.
He missed Sunday’s friendly at Salford and afterwards, coach Lam said he was due to be checked the following day.
Having been assessed, Wigan are expected to be without him for "three or four weeks".
He will sit out their opening Super League game, against Leigh on March 26, in Leeds.
Wigan face Wakefield the following Thursday and then enter the Challenge Cup competition the week later.
His absence means the Warriors will head into the new campaign missing their two first-choice wingers, as Liam Marshall is out until the summer with a knee injury which ended his season last year.
And with Joe Burgess moving to Salford in the off-season – and Chris Hankinson going on loan to London – it leaves Lam short of wing options.
The situation isn't helped by uncertainty over Jai Field and Oliver Gildart, with Lam rating both of them as "50-50" for the opening day as they nurse back and groin injuries respectively.
Unless they urgently recruit, Jake Bibby and Zak Hardaker could be the only senior backs available.
But youngsters Sam Halsall and Umyla Hanley have both completed their second pre-season since being promoted to the first-team, and can play on the wing. Lam also has a full contingent of forwards and some of them - such as Willie Isa, John Bateman and young James O'Donnell - have played at centre before.
Manfredi, 27, missed the end of last season because of a minor knee injury and has spoken recently about hoping luck is on his side this year after three serious injuries stalled his career and left him contemplating retiring.