Wigan and England forward Gareth Hock will miss the start of the new Super League season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
The 29-year-old back rower missed the Warriors' pre-season training camp in Florida before Christmas after having the operation following England's autumn internationals but the injury was kept under wraps until today.
"Gareth will be out for at least six weeks of the new season," coach Shaun Wane told the Wigan Evening Post.
"We're fortunate that we have a number of talented second rowers in the squad."
Hock's injury setback emerged amid fresh rumours over his future at Wigan.
He was poised to join Australian club Parramatta in the winter after recapturing his form following his return from a two-year drugs ban.
However, the move fell through and Hock subsequently lost his Wigan number 12 jersey to Liam Farrell.