Injury update on Wigan Warriors captain Sean O'Loughlin
Sean O'Loughlin could play again this year after being told he will NOT need surgery on a pectoral injury suffered in Wigan's 15-14 win at Hull FC on Friday.
There were fears he would not play again this year.
But having had the injury scanned over the weekend, the Warriors say he is "scheduled to return to action in 6-8 weeks" - meaning he could return for a Grand Final charge.
There are five games left of the regular season but, with a weekend off the Challenge Cup Final, he could be fit for the start of the play-offs.
And either way, it means he should be fit for Great Britain's tour Down Under.
Warriors coach Adrian Lam said: “Losing a player of Sean’s influence and ability will always be tough to take, yet the silver lining to this is that we should be welcoming him back into the fold as we look to make the play-offs at the end of the season.
"It’s up to us now as a unit to maintain our upward trajectory in recent weeks by securing a play-off berth to welcome Sean back into the squad.”
O'Loughlin had only just returned from an Achilles injury which had sidelined him for three weeks.
Until then, however, he'd had a good run in the side, figuring in 19 of Wigan's opening 23 matches and playing longer minutes than many expected.
Out of contract at the end of this season, the 36-year-old had indicated he wanted to play on next season - and made no secret of the fact he wanted to lead the revived Great Britain tour Down Under.
He was man of the match the last time GB played, in 2007. The Lions play matches against New Zealand (twice), Fiji and Papua New Guinea.