IN-FORM WINGER Tom Johnstone won’t play again for Wakefield Trinity this season, but coach Chris Chester says his England hopes remain alive.
Johnstone suffered a knee injury after scoring a hat-trick in last Friday’s 34-22 win over Catalans Dragons.
His treble took his tally of tries for the season to 24, moving him level with St Helens’ Ben Barber as the season’s most prolific scorer.
Johnstone missed much of last season because of an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, but Chester revealed the latest setback is “nothing too serious”.
He said: “Scans have proved the ACL is all intact, there’s nothing wrong with that. He has deep bone bruising, that’s the only worrying thing on the knee. We’ve only got two games left and he will miss the next two weeks, but hopefully it doesn’t put him out of the internationals.”
Johnstone is a member of the England Knights performance squad ahead of their autumn tour to Papua New Guinea, but could also be in contention for the senior England side’s three-Test series against New Zealand.
“It would be tough on him to miss out two years running,” Chester added. “Before he got his ACL last year we had a call from Kevin Sinfield to say he was in their thoughts for the mid-season Test against Samoa.
“Hopefully this is nothing to keep him out for months and we are talking weeks.”
Captain Danny Kirmond could be available for Trinity’s Betfred Super-8s derby at Castleford Tigers on Friday. Kirmond has not played since undergoing surgery on a knee injury in June.
“He potentially could be available,” Chester confirmed. “He has done some contact. We will see how he is and make a call later in the week.”
The win over Catalans lifted Trinity to fifth and Chester said: “We know we have to win at least one more game than Huddersfield. The prize money is important to us. We’ll be going all out to make sure we get £75,000 instead of £50,000 for finishing sixth.
“Last week’s win guaranteed us top six and I think that’s a really good achievement from everybody involved.”
Trinity’s Jacob Miller is available for Friday’s game despite being sent-off three minutes from the end of last week’s win.
He was charged with grade A punching, but has avoided a ban.
Catalans’ Mika Simon was handed a grade B punching charge and a one-match penalty notice after being red-carded in the same incident.