SAINTS will be without James Bentley for an indefinite period after suffering spinal ligament damage towards the end of the first half at Magic.

Bentley could not finish the game and is now seeing specialists to ascertain the full extent of the injury – but coach Kristian Woolf is fearful of it being an extended period on the sidelines for the dogged second rower.

Catalans heavyweight prop Sam Kasiano was sin-binned for the tackle.

Woolf said: “It is not a real good one. James has got some ligament damage around his spine as a result of a crusher tackle.”

The Leeds-bound Bentley has already missed a big chunk of the season – including Wembley - with a broken leg.

And it would be a bitter blow for Saints to lose the Yorkshire Terrier, and the sheer doggedness he brings to the table, for the play-offs.

“James could not finish the game and was in quite severe pain," Woolf said.

“He is really disappointed and has more appointments with specialists next week and we are obviously hoping on the positive side there.

“We are hoping for the best there – but there is a chance and likelihood that this could be an extended period.

“He is a good player – and you always miss your good players.

“For whatever period he is out for we will miss him.”

St Helens Star:

Meanwhile Woolf said skipper James Roby, who left the field in extra time with a knock, “is going to be fine.”

Picture: Bernard Platt