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St Helens have been dealt a huge blow on the injury front with the news hooker James Roby is facing 10 weeks out with an ankle injury.
Saints are struggling in Super League by their own exceptionally high standards and currently sit in seventh, just two points ahead of ninth-placed Wakefield Wildcats.
The 27-year-old has already spent one 10-week spell on the sidelines after damaging his other ankle and is now looking at more time on the treatment table.
Roby picked up the injury 17 minutes into Sunday’s 40-24 victory over Castleford and coach Nathan Brown says it is now down to someone else from within the squad to step up and fill his boots.
“We’re disappointed to lose a player of James’ calibre but once again it presents an opportunity for another member of the first team squad to step up and cement their place,” Brown said.
Saints’ form was starting to pick up after winning three of the last four Super League games but they now have a free weekend after Hull KR knocked them out of the Challenge Cup.
Next up is a huge game when arch-rivals Wigan are the visitors on Monday, July 22 but Saints will have to do without Roby for the game, and possibly for the rest of the regular season.