Mark Percival could play in World Club Challenge despite shoulder surgery next week

Mark Percival could make a shock one-off return for St Helens in Saturday’s World Club Challenge – despite being pencilled in for shoulder surgery just 48 hours later.

The Saints said that Percival would be sidelined for ‘several months’ following their 19-0 defeat at Warrington earlier this month, following an upper-body injury that saw him leave the field midway through that game.

However, with the surgery not until after the game, Percival could play against the NRL Champions.

“He’s a chance of playing,” head coach Kristian Woolf said.

“It’s been in the media that he needs surgery and that happens next week. We’ve put him through contact and he held up well, we’ve got to see how he pulls up but he’s certainly a chance.”

Woolf insisted that Percival’s involvement would not risk further damage to the injury.

“Not at all, we wouldn’t put him out there if we thought we were putting his health at risk. He needs some work done and it’s more a matter of whether he can play with a bit of pain and get through it. It’s a shoulder injury, I won’t go into too much detail.”