Wigan have given permission for their star Australian full-back Bevan French to miss the start of the Super League season in England for the second successive year.
The 26-year-old returned home to undertake and recover from a major hamstring injury sustained last May and is now on compassionate leave following the death of his mother.
"The last time I spoke to him was immediately after his mum passed," new head coach Matt Peet said at the Warriors' pre-season media day on Friday.
"We are very open with him and I said I'd contact him next week.
"From there I'd imagine we'll start talking about when he's set to come back once the funeral and matters there are concluded.
"I know he's keen to get back but we've given him a bit of space.
"We'll make sure he comes in at the right time, fit and healthy."
French, 26, who was signed from Parramatta in July 2019, missed the start of last season after being given permission to stay on in Australia due to the COVID-19 situation at the time.
Wigan will play their opening game against Hull KR a fortnight on Friday.
Peet says he will manage captain Thomas Leuluai during the 2022 season in order to get the best out of the veteran New Zealand scrum-half.
The 36-year-old former New Zealand international was out of contract at the end of last season but decided to play on after completing a full recovery from a hamstring injury that forced him to sit out the last two months of the campaign.
The Australian influence remains strong with Peet handing Jackson Hastings' number six shirt to new signing Cade Cust while he'll also have utility back Jai Field at his disposal after being restricted by injury to just four appearances in his first season in England.
Australian Associated Press
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