Bridge set for return
6th March 2013
Warrington Wolves' former England centre Chris Bridge is set to make his first appearance of the season in Friday's Super League derby against St Helens.
The 28-year-old missed October's Grand Final after being troubled for most of the season with tendinitis, but underwent surgery in the close season and made his comeback playing on a dual registration for Swinton last Sunday.
"He had an operation directly after the Grand Final and he's been doing recovery ever since," said Wolves coach Tony Smith.
"He's been incredibly good in training. I know Chris has never been known as one of the best trainers in the world - he's had reputation in the past for being a bit lazy - but he's been far from that and he's come back a bit ahead of schedule.
"He's in great shape and, if he makes the final team, it will be a bonus for us and hopefully he can get on a roll."
Smith also expects to have the Monaghan brothers, winger Joel and hooker Michael, back after missing Sunday's 26-12 defeat at Hull KR with minor injuries.
"If all three come through the final run-out tomorrow, it will be a positive for us," Smith said. "It's nice to have a few back because we've been losing a few each week."
Warrington will still be without half their first-choice pack, with skipper Adrian Morley and back-rowers Ben Harrison and Trent Waterhouse still sidelined through injury, and there is still some concern over the neck injury sustained by veteran stand-off Lee Briers against Wigan Warriors in the second match of the season.
Briers, who turns 35 in June, is desperately hoping to avoid surgery, which would effectively curtail his season and, in the worst-case scenario, could even bring an end to his career.
"Lee's had some irritation in his neck that has caused some nerve problem," Smith added. "He's waiting for it to settle and it's a little more positive this week than it has been.
"There is an option of an operation that can fix it but it's a long-termer and you don't want to do that unless it's completely necessary.
"We're giving him a bit of time, hoping he's on the road to recovery.
"It's tough for Lee because, if it doesn't settle, then there is no option but to have the operation and, at his age and stage, it could be significant.
"We've had him to all the best people and we're giving him every chance for it to settle down but whether it's weeks or months, I'm not sure."
Saints welcome back New Zealand international Lance Hohaia, who has missed the last three matches with a shoulder injury.