Wigan head coach Shaun Wane has admitted that Michael McIlorum is set to miss his own testimonial match.
The hooker will be celebrated on Sunday for 10 years of service in cherry and white when the Warriors take on Leigh Centurions.
McIlorum had hoped to make his return to action in the match, albeit in a small capacity, although he will not be available for the start of the Super League season. The 29-year-old still has metal plates surrounding his ankle, and once they are removed he is facing eight to 10 weeks out.
Contrary to reports, Wane confirmed that McIlorum would likely miss out on the match for the sake of his own health.
“It’s a big day for Micky and he means a lot to everyone at this club, as does the game on Sunday, it means plenty. He’s given some great service to this club and we want to give him a good day.
“The romantic side of me says get him out because I’d love for him to play a part on his big day but at the end of the day I want him fit when it matters. Probably not, he won’t play.”
“I’m going to put a strong team out in the first half and blood some kids in the second half. I’m looking forward to it; I’ll learn a lot on Sunday from both halves of rugby.
Romain (Navarrete) and Morgan (Escare) will play; we’ll start strong before introducing some of the younger lads after half-time, as we’ve normally played a lot of young kids in these derby games against Leigh in pre-season.