Westwood blow for Wolves
Injuries starting to mount up for Wire
Last Updated: 17/08/11 3:00pm
Westwood: Out for up to eight weeks
Warrington second rower Ben Westwood could miss the rest of the season after being ruled out for up to eight weeks with a knee injury.
A scan has revealed that the England international suffered a torn medial knee ligament in last week's win over Wakefield.
Westwood, who has missed only one Super League match this year, has been ruled out for between six to eight weeks, which takes him right up to the October 8 Grand Final.
Wolves coach Tony Smith has also admitted for the first time that captain Adrian Morley may not play again this year after struggling with double vision over the last seven weeks.
"There's a possibility he (Westwood) could be gone for the season," said Smith.
"His diagnosis is six to eight weeks so it depends on how long we go and how quick he is.
"There's a possibility he could be gone for the season. His diagnosis is six to eight weeks so it depends on how long we go and how quick he is."
Tony Smith Quotes of the week
"He's aiming to be as quick as he can and we'd like to think he'd get a chance again.
"It's not great news for him but it could have been worse. It could have been a re-construction.
"We feel for him because he's been such a great performer this year and it's a blow for us as well but we'll get on with it."
The injury is a major setback to Warrington's hopes of securing a maiden Grand Final appearance but at least Westwood should be available for England's Four Nations campaign.
With doubts over Wests Tigers back rower Gareth Ellis, who may need to undergo groin surgery at the end of the season, England coach Steve McNamara will be keen to make sure Westwood is ready by the time his side play a warm-up game against France on October 21.
Former England boss Smith added: "I don't try to predict selections but I'd certainly want him available, especially if the reports on Gareth Ellis are true. You wouldn't want to lose two high quality back rowers."
Warrington are paying a heavy price for their 66-12 rout of Wakefield, with full-back Brett Hodgson set to miss three to four weeks with a torn quad muscle, centre Rhys Evans ruled out for the season with a broken bone in his foot and utility man Simon Grix ruled out of Saturday's big game against Catalan Dragons in Perpignan with a groin strain.
Evans, who was making his first appearance since being recalled from Leigh, will have an operation next Wednesday.
Veteran stand-off Lee Briers, who has played only once in the last seven weeks, will return to the side to offer some relief and the loss of Hodgson will pave the way for a recall for Chris Riley, whose last senior outing was in the Challenge Cup in May.
"It's a chance for Chris to show his wares again," said Smith. "He's chomping at the bit to get a crack.
"He's done a great job for us in the past and he's been very patient. It's a great opportunity for a young guy who has a decent track record."
Meanwhile, Morley will take a break from training in a final effort to recover from the effects of the head knock he took against St Helens in June.
"Moz has been doing his best to recover but he's going to have a little break from training and we hope that will help," said Smith.
"We'd be hopeful that he'll be back before the end of the season but there's a chance he may not. The bottom line is he's got to be symptom free before he can play again and he's still got some symptoms."
Morley is also firmly part of England's plans for the Four Nations Series.