SAINTS scrum half Sean Long is likely to miss the start of Great Britain's involvement in the forthcoming Gillette Tri-Nations series after having an operation to remove pieces floating bone from his ankle - but should play later in the tournament.

Long's ankle is believed to have locked while he was out walking through Wigan a fortnight ago and it was diagnosed has being caused by fragments of bone, and had the operation shortly afterwards.

The process of assessing the player's fitness is currently being carried out and will not be completed until later this week. During this process, the Great Britain medical staff, the Saints medical team and Long will all consult with each other.

The Great Britain squad will be announced on Monday 18 October and Saints should be represented by Paul Wellens, Paul Sculthorpe, Lee Gilmour and Long.