MICHAEL Shenton should have been running out at Wembley to face the Australians on Saturday – but instead he will be watching it on the television as he recovers from the dislocated elbow that wrecked both his and Saints’ Grand Final.

But the news on the injury is not as bad as was first feared when the disconsolate centre was led off the Old Trafford turf in agony 20 minutes from time.

Shenton has not needed an operation on the elbow and there was no break, which means he is already doing light work and will be joining the team in pre-season training in a couple of weeks.

Shenton said: “It is coming on and is not too bad. It is the best I could have hoped for really.

“They popped it back in and a couple of days later I saw the consultant who went through the small details and told me there was no fracture.

“It is out of the sling now and it is just a case of building the strength back up really.

“It is a massively important joint and you can’t do anything without your elbow. Keiron Cunningham - who did his elbow badly as a player in 2002 and had to have it pinned - told me his was a nightmare and said ‘I have dodged a bullet there’.

“I can start training now – running and can also lift light weights.

“I will be back training with all the guys on November 14 when they return to training – but it just won’t be heavy weights, probably more pool work.”

Shenton had a solid first season in Saints colours – and was sound defensively throughout and once the half backs became properly bedded down we saw more of his dynamic attacking prowess on the right edge.

And he is looking forward to next season – with some new faces and especially the new stadium.

It is very much the dawning of a new era at Saints and the 25-year-old former Castleford centre is massively excited.

He said: “We have motivation, because we know we could have won it last year.

“The young lads will have learned so much from being involved in the big games.

“I have been involved in some massive games too and you learn from that – especially the Wigan games and the Grand Final.

“It has been great for me – I have learned a lot from the coaching staff. They are a year into the job too we just all have to move upwards.

“People can’t stop talking about Saints’ new ground – even some of my old team mates at Cas have been saying they cant wait to play at the new place.

“It looks awesome. It is going to be the best just for rugby grounds in the country.”