After last nights sweet win over Warrington, the bitter news that John Bateman will be out for another 3 months was announced by Shaun Wane during his post-match press conference.
Bateman has undergone surgery on his shoulder, after scans revealed that the injury was worse than first feared. He is not expected to play again until June. Along with missing a large part of the regular Super League season, Bateman will miss the England game against Samoa in May.
Bateman was many people’s tip to win the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award this year, with such a long lay-off and having not yet played a Super League game this year; that looks to be an award that will elude him in 2017.
Wigan are well covered in the back row and are in a position in which they can call on England Internationals Joel Tomkins and Liam Farrell to fill the void. Willie Isa, who played in the centres against Warrington, also offers strong competition for places in that position, with youngster, Jack Wells another who is likely to get more time – covering the second row and centre positions.
Having Bateman back in June and fresh from injury, will be a great tonic for Wigan as they push to for the quadruple in 2017. A half season could also benefit England at the end of 2017, as Bateman competes for a place in the England side for the World Cup.