Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane has confirmed that forward Gareth Hock will be sidelined for the start of the Super League season due to a shoulder injury.
The England back-rower underwent shoulder surgery before Christmas and will need six weeks to recover.
"Gareth will be out for at least six weeks of the new season," Wane told the Wigan Evening Post. "We're fortunate that we have a number of talented second-rowers in the squad."
It has been speculated that the 29-year-old could leave the club in the near future following reports at the end of last season that he was considering an exit.