England hooker James Roby has completed his recovery from an ankle injury but will be held back for St Helens' last match of the regular Super League season.
Roby has been out since early July with ankle ligament damage yet has been pencilled in to make his return against Hull FC on Friday week.
It means, if Saints make progress in the play-offs, Roby could have as many as five matches with his club to prove his fitness ahead of England's World Cup opener against Australia on October 26.
St Helens coach Nathan Brown will not take a risk by playing Roby in Friday's derby with Warrington Wolves at Langtree Park.
"He could probably play this week at a push but everything will be better for him next week," said Brown.
"He could probably get through but it's just not worth the risk. It's been so long now, we may as well make sure everything is ticked. But he'll definitely be right for the Hull game."
Roby was sidelined for almost three months earlier in the season after suffering a similar injury to his other ankle but has made a quicker recovery this time.
"He had some other stuff done to his ankle last time and the week he was ready to come back, he had a bad virus so he missed another week on the back of that," explained Brown.