SAINTS loose forward Morgan Knowles will miss a good chunk of the pre-season as a result of the ankle injury sustained in the England v France game.

Knowles hobbled off in that game in Perpignan, played on the last weekend of the season – a fortnight after starring in Saints’ third consecutive Grand Final win.

But coach Kristian Wolf expects the Dream Team number 13, who he rates as “one of the toughest blokes he has dealt with”, to be fit in time for Betfred Super League’s opening round.

Woolf said: “Morgan suffered syndesmosis injury to his ankle in the England game and is going to miss a fair chunk of the pre-season.

“But he will be back not too long after Christmas and be in a position where he can start building into contact and getting ready for Round 1.

“We expect him, and everyone else for that matter, to be available for Round 1.

“The majority of the players are going to get a really good pre-season in as well.

“That is a great position for us to be in – not one that we have always found ourselves in. That gives us a really good start, particularly with the pre-season being so short.”

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Knowles has missed the last two pre-seasons, after undergoing surgery on both shoulders at the end of 2019 and his thumb at the end of last term.

“It is just unlucky for him, and he has not done a pre-season since I have been here,” Woolf said.

“But he is one of the toughest blokes that I have had the opportunity to deal with.

“The way he throws his body around and puts his body on the line for his team and sometimes that comes with a bit of wear and tear, but that is what makes him the player he is.

“What I also know about Morgan is that he is really intense in terms of how he is going to go about his work with his rehab.

“He will make sure that he is running and getting himself back on the field much sooner than other players would.

“He’ll make the most of whatever time he gets in the pre-season and he’ll be ready to go for next season.”