NEW signing Mose Masoe will miss the start of the season, but he expects to back in contention and making a big impression on the fresh-looking Saints team before February is over with.
The 20 stone man mountain damaged his ankle playing in Samoa’s World Cup campaign – a similar injury to the ones sustained by James Roby last term – and has had surgery.
But coach Nathan Brown calmed fears that it was not going to be a repeat of the problems the club had with former prop Josh Perry, who arrived at the start of his stint at Saints injured and never found his feet thereafter.
Brown said: “I know it does concern people, but Josh’s was a shocking career defining injury, whereas Mose’s is the same as what Sia and Robes had last year – basic ankle surgery and not one known to cause lots of problems.
“The standard time is eight weeks, but with Mose being such a big bloke – weighing in at 130 kilos - we may have to give him a couple of weeks extra. We know he is important for the team, the club and fans so don’t want to rush him back.
“So although he will not be fit for the season start, we are not looking at a long lay-off.”
Brown expects Masoe to make a big impression at Saints and across the Super League after being signed to tick two boxes – the entertainment and the enforcer.
“Even the opposition are going to like Mose because he is a real character and a personality. He is a ‘bums on seats’ player because he brings some excitement to the game.
“He will get a cult following here if he plays the footy we know he can play,” said Brown.
After returning home after the World Cup Masoe arrived in St Helens with his family just before Christmas.
And he has taken to the town and his new teammates well, despite the early setback.
“The ankle is going well, the physios are looking at it and making sure it heals properly.
“At the moment I am doing rehab and shedding kilos to get fit – once I start running I should be better.
“Fingers crossed I hope to get back for round two or three, but they don’t want to push it because it is a long season,” Masoe said.
Masoe is one of three new props in the Saints squad, joining Kyle Amor and Richard Beaumont. They join the club’s crop of existing and developing front rowers which should make competition for spots and intense affair.
He said: “We have got a lot of big men here – and big Alex and Kyle are good players, so there will be good competition for spots.
“Every good team needs a good set of forwards – if you can’t go forward, you can’t really utilise your set of backs. The boys are ripping in at training and are looking good.
“In terms of my role in the team, I like coming off the bench – I just run hard and tackle hard, that is my job. I like to play at 125 kilos, I like playing heavy.”