Eastmond still managed 15 tries in 19 Super League games in 2010
St Helens scrum-half Kyle Eastmond seems sure to miss the start of next season on 12 February after being told he faces a second ankle operation.
And Saints' new Aussie signing Josh Perry, who also has an ankle injury, could miss as much as the first month.
But Saints expect to have new centre Michael Shenton fit in time following minor surgery on his ankle.
Leon Pryce, who missed the last two months of the season with a neck injury, has now resumed light training.
Pryce and former Castleford man Shenton, who damaged his ankle during England's ill-fated Four Nations campaign, should both be fit for the season-opening Millennium Magic weekend in Cardiff.
But Perry, Saints' capture from Manly Sea Eagles, is continuing his rehabilitation in Australia.
He is not expected to arrive in England until around Christmas time, with a return to action pencilled in for late February or March.
As for Eastmond, who played just five times in the second half of 2010 and was ruled out of Saints' Grand Final defeat by Wigan in October, his target was the start of next season after missing the trip down under for England's Four Nations campaign.
But new Saints coach Royce Simmons said: "If he misses the first round or two, we'll live with that."