Anthony Gelling is set to blast back into the first-team frame this week.
And coach Shaun Wane has tipped him to re-establish his place as the form centre of Super League over the summer months.
Wigan travel to Hull KR on Friday night looking to keep the heat on leaders Hull FC, who have a two-point advantage. The complexion at the top can change this Friday as FC travel to second-placed Warrington.
Gelling – who has been sidelined with a hamstring problem – is likely to replace teenager Oliver Gildart in the starting line-up.
Wane said last night: “Gells trained today and looked in good nick, so I expect him back.
“In my opinion, before he was injured he was the best centre in the competition. I’m not expecting him to be man-of-the-match in his first game back, but I’m expecting a good performance and I’m looking forward to seeing him get back to his best.”
Gelling has not played since a 54-4 win at Dewsbury in the Challenge Cup a month ago.
Since then, Wigan lost to Hull FC but have since chalked up three wins on their travels against Leeds – at the Magic Weekend – Castleford and Salford.
Gelling, a Cook Islands international, was one of Wane’s first recruits when he took over from Michael Maguire as head coach at the end of 2011.
He was signed as a ‘project player’ and, having shown patience early on, they have reaped the rewards from their investment.
The 25-year-old’s athletic ability has rarely been questioned and he has now cut out the errors which blighted his performances in the past. One of the game’s most colourful stars, he has become a firm fans’ favourite.
Wane said: “With Anthony it was more to do with concentration than effort, and it seems like the penny has dropped.
“He knows what the team needs and what his role should be, and we’re seeing the best of him.
“He’s big, he’s athletic, and he gives us a good attacking threat which challenges people.”
Wane reported no fresh injury concerns. Tony Clubb (neck) and Liam Farrell (ribs) are still waiting to undergo operations, while captain Sean O’Loughlin is expected to be out until the end of the month.
Taulima Tautai has received a caution for a dangerous throw in the 23-20 win against Salford, but is free to play this week.