AGNATIUS Paasi has a chance of being named in the Saints 21 for Friday’s Super League game with Leeds Rhinos – but coach Paul Wellens say that this would not necessarily mean he will play.

The big prop made his first outing since last July in the Reserves game at Castleford last Saturday playing two first half stints of 15 and 10 minutes.

Although Wellens today announced that Morgan Knowles had joined Matt Whitley, Jake Wingfield, Morgan Knowles and Alex Walmsley – that will not be a factor in rushing back Paasi before he is ready.

Wellens and the Saints staff will study all the information they get back from his game and training sessions before making a call on when he makes his first team return.

Wellens said: “Agnatius came through Saturday’s game really well and there is a fair chance I am going to name him in the 21-man squad this week off the back of his performance.

“That is not necessarily to say that he is going to play.

Wellens explained how Paasi is being prepared for an eventual return to first team action after his first outing since requiring surgery on a devastating ACL injury.

Wellens said: “We have had a 13 v 13 session onfield today which Agnatius has took full part in.

“I know he is the type of guy who, because we are light in the middles, would be more than happy to put his hands up to play.

“Agnatius is knocking on my door saying he is OK and good to play but I want to gather all the information and if he does play he is playing for the right reasons.

“But we will get all of the information back from the session and make an educated decision on how we move forward with Agnatius.

“There is a chance he could play but we are not going to rush him into anything unnecessary because it is important that his long term health is respected more than anything.

“And that we get them fit and firing at the back end of the season as well.

“We are catering some non-player sessions at the end of the weeks for Agnatius to get the right level of exposure that he needs – whether that is conditioning or the contact element of things we are providing all that for him.

“But game time on the field will accelerate that process even further.”

Paasi played in the Reserves win at Castleford – a game which saw a smattereing of first teamers watching on, including Jack Welsby, Waqa Blake and Konrad Hurrell.

Wellens said the support he received in his comeback was a reflection of Paasi’s personal popularity and a recognition of how he has done it tough since that devastating triple injury in the Challenge Cup semi final against Leigh.

“It was brilliant for a Agnatius,” he said.

“We gave the players some time off at the weekend – and some of them spent that time going over to Castleford to cheer on Agnatius in the Reserves.

“That shows what the group thinks of Agnatius and what the group have witnessed over the last 12 months and the amount of sacrifice and hard work that Agnatius has had to put in to get himself back out on the rugby field again.”