SAINTS’ international loose forward Morgan Knowles is the latest packman to undergo surgery.

Coach Paul Wellens has revealed that the number 13 went under the knife today and will be out of action for five-six weeks.

He joins fellow packmen Alex Walmsley, Matt Whitley and Jake Wingfield on the sidelines – but Saints hope that this will resolve a long-standing groin injury.

Wellens said: “Morgan has today undergone some groin surgery to repair what has been an ongoing issue for him.

“That is looking like five to six weeks lay off for Morgan.

“Morgan has been carrying this issue for a long period and never quite got it right.

“He is the type of player who is always prepared to put his hand up for the team and play that bit busted, but the time has come for us to be sensible.

“We need Morgan Knowles fit and firing for the back end and if we don’t manage him correctly now then we put that at risk.

“We thank Morgs for his sacrifice of playing busted but the time is now to be sensible and get Morgan back to his best.”

Wellens had already explained that Winfield and Whitley will be sidelined after surgery and today elaborated.

He said: “Jake Wingfield has gone in for a shoulder repair and it is looking like a 16 week lay-off.

“Although it is hugely disappointing for Jake - he is a resilient lad and he has had to be because he has had some huge setbacks in such a young caree.

“But I know he is up for the challenge of tackling this head on.

“Matty Whitley is another surgical case – he has had a shoulder operation that will keep him out for 12 weeks.

“That is a blow and we are going to miss a player of his quality.

“They will all be a be a big miss and that is the challenge of a Super League season when you do have that fair bit of adversity.”

In positive news Agnatius Paasi came through his first game back in the Saints Reserves and is in contention to be named in the 21 for Friday – even if he will not necessarily make the final 17.