Wigan wait over Charnley
Wigan coach Shaun Wane doesn't expect to know until the end of the week if winger Josh Charnley will be fit to face Leeds on Saturday.
Last Updated: 11/07/12 10:47am
Wigan are sweating over the fitness of Josh Charnley ahead of Saturday's Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final against Leeds.
The winger, Super League's runaway leading tryscorer this season, picked up a calf injury playing for England against the Exiles last Wednesday.
He was sidelined for the trip to Wakefield at the weekend and now faces a race against time to be ready to face the Rhinos at the Galpharm Stadium.
Wane also confirmed that three-quarter Iain Thornley, who made a try-scoring debut as a replacement for Charnley against the Wildcats, will also be unavailable, having been signed after the Cup deadline.
"I will know more about that at the end of the week," he said about Charnley. "He won't train today. It was a bad calf injury.
"I hope we get him back, his form has been fantastic."
Wane also confirmed that there was a doubt over hooker Michael McIlorum, who was another player to miss the 52-10 win over the Wildcats, but was confident props Jeff Lima and Paul Prescott will be available for selection.
"There are doubts over four or five," he added. "I'm not 100% sure what my team is going to be yet.
"It is a bit of a short turnaround for us this week. Leeds have had two more days and I won't have everybody training today which is a shame."
One player who certainly won't be in action for the Cherry and Whites is Matty Smith, the scrum-half having been signed from top-flight rivals Salford after the Cup register had closed.
His absence means Sean O'Loughlin and Brett Finch will be the half-back pairing for the repeat of last year's final at Wembley.
"Obviously I left Lockers where he was at the weekend, knowing he was going to play there this weekend," Wane said.
Thomas Leuluai and Pat Richards remain long-term absentees for the current cup holders, with Wane revealing that the latter had suffered a "slight setback" in his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury.
"He is still about six weeks still," he said. "It was a pretty big operation he had.
"He's had a slight setback in training which has added a week to it. Pat has been driving really hard in rehab and probably pushed a bit too hard."