Alex Walmsley admits it remains unclear when he will be able to return to action from a hamstring injury.

The St Helens prop has missed his side’s last two Betfred Super League matches after suffering the injury during the team’s defeat to Warrington Wolves in the Betfred Challenge Cup quarter-finals on April 14.

Saints head coach Paul Wellens confirmed after Friday’s 13-12 win over Huddersfield Giants that the former Great Britain and England international is set for an extended spell on the sidelines, and Walmsley hopes a possible return date will become clearer after further tests in the coming days.

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“At the minute there’s a lot of cloud around it,” Walmsley told The Bench podcast.

“There’s a few other checks that we need to line up and hopefully we’ll get an answer in the next few days to see where we end up.”

Earlier in April, Walmsley signed a contract which will extend his stay at the club to 14 years with a deal that runs until the end of the 2026 Super League season. The forward has made 280 appearances and scored 52 tries during his time with the Merseyside outfit.

Reflecting on his journey, Walmsley acknowledged his career had not taken a traditional route, starting in the community game with Dewsbury Celtic and the university competitions with Leeds Met Carnegie before earning his shot in the professional ranks with part-timers Batley Bulldogs.

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It is naturally a path he takes pride in after making it to the top of the sport with St Helens, where he has been part of four Super League Grand Final-winning teams, one Challenge Cup success, and earned Super League Dream Team selection on three occasions.

“I was a bit different,” Walmsley said. “More often than not I’d like to think that players who come through the Championship have done a scholarship or academy at some point,

“I stopped playing rugby at 16. I just didn’t enjoy it, I was quite an overweight kid and it was something I just didn’t enjoy doing. I came back at 18 and got back playing at amateur [level] and at university and like anything I just loved it so much.

“I’ve been fortunate, I’ve had such a great career at Saints, I’ve won so much silverware at the club but so often my fondest memories were of the amateur days playing for Dewsbury Celtic.”

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Walmsley explains why he turned down opportunities to move to the NRL, insisting he’s always been happy at the club

Walmsley has been with St Helens since he joined from Betfred Championship outfit Batley ahead of the 2013 season.

He has received several offers to play in the NRL in Australia in the past too, but turned down those to prioritise personal happiness.

“It boils down to being happy,” Walmsley said. “The first real opportunity came as early as 2015 when I was going into my third year at St Helens.

“At that point, I’d only left part-time rugby 18 months ago, so I was still learning the game. I was cementing myself as a first-team starter at Saints, it just didn’t feel like the right time to go and I’d just recently lost my mum and my dad was a big part of my rugby. I didn’t want to take that away from him so that was part of the decision.

“I’ve always been happy at St Helens. Being successful brings happiness and I’ve been fortunate these past six, seven years to be a part of a side that’s been successful in bringing in silverware and we’ve had some unbelievable moments.”

Listen to The Bench podcast with Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin every week during the Betfred Super League season. Watch every Betfred Super League match in 2024 live on Sky Sports or stream with NOW.

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