SAINTS’ utility back Will Hopoate will see a specialist on Friday to determine the full extent of the pectoral/shoulder injury sustained in last week’s game.

The Tongan international left the field with that injury, combined with a head knock, when he tried to snuff out Huddersfield Giants wing Innes Senior in the third minute of Friday’s win.

Having previous sustained fractured rib cartilage followed by niggly hamstring injuries, which have limited him to just nine appearances in a disrupted start in the red vee, Hopoate was looking to build on the fine performance he produced against Wigan at Magic.

But instead he faces another frustrating spell on the sidelines which coach Kristian Woolf hoped would be less than five or six weeks, but did not want to speculate on an exact timeframe.

Woolf said: “The news is a lot more positive than what we originally thought, but he has still got to see a specialist this Friday.

“That will determine when he comes back and plays, but the indicators are that he is going to be back playing to finish the year – we haven’t got a timeline yet, we just need to get that confirmed on Friday.”

Hopoate has endured five different spells out since suffering a broken rib cartilage against Catalans on debut.

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“It is definitely bad luck and there’s no doubt about that,” Woolf said.

“He is not a guy that has ever had continual injury problems in his own career.

“He has only just turned 30 and is certainly not at a stage in his career where these things start to happen.

“Athletic wise in training he still very much at the peak of his power.

“He’s just had a lot of bad luck – and the fact that he’s had multiple injuries in different areas probably leads to not getting into your regular routine.

“You get most of your niggly injuries at the start of the season because players come into play and they have to get used to the rigours of physical full contact of week-to-week play.

“He has not been able to get into that routine so as the year has gone on, that has contributed a little bit – on top of the bad luck.

“It is frustrating for staff and fans alike, but the person it is most frustrating for is obviously Will himself.

“He has come here to make a real impression – he is a very honest character and has done that in the games he has played but not as much as he would like to.

“What he needs more than anything at the moment is support. He will get through it – people get through bad luck and he will reward that support when he does.

“Once we get through this and we see it more consistently then everyone is going to see the value he brings.”