Sam Tomkins will miss the first month of Wigan Warriors' Super League title defence as he continues to recover from foot surgery.
Full-back Tomkins had to watch from the sidelines as Wigan beat Warrington Wolves 12-6 to claim a Grand Final victory in October and he was also absent for England's Four Nations campaign.
The 27-year-old went under the knife to correct the problem and has shown promising signs in training, but coach Sean Wane is not expecting him back for the opening round against Salford Red Devils on February 11.
"March-April... but it's still not a definite time-frame," Wane said when asked for a timescale on Tomkins' return
"We'll see how he is when he starts running, we'll know more then.
"He's had a plate in there and that has to come out, and so there are some things that could dictate when he’s back. But he's training really well and he'll be back as soon as possible."