St Helens half-back Smith undergoes further eye surgery

Updated: 

St Helens half-back Matty Smith has undergone a second operation on the eye injury he sustained in Thursday's Super League defeat to Leeds Rhinos.

The experienced playmaker was forced off after just six minutes at Headingley when he was accidentally caught in the face by team-mate Jon Wilkin as the latter entered a tackle.

In a post-match news conference, Saints coach Justin Holbrook revealed Smith's eyelid had been "ripped open" in the freak incident and the 29-year-old had surgery on Friday.

Three days on from that operation, St Helens confirmed Smith had gone under the knife once again.

"It's ongoing and a work in progress," explained Holbrook. "He couldn't get it stitched on the field because his eyelid was ripped open. He was cleared of any major damage but then had some other issues with it and has had more surgery this afternoon [Monday].

"Obviously we are hoping he gets better quickly and we should get a clearer indication in the next day or two.

"I don't know any timeframe for his return; it's purely on the muscle and his eye and how that responds to the second surgery.

"I'm not too worried about a timeframe at the moment, though. We just hope everything is ok with his eye going forward, that is our main concern."

Smith rejoined Saints from arch rivals Wigan Warriors ahead of the 2017 season, but his second debut for the club was delayed when he suffered a broken leg in a pre-season friendly.