It’s been the story of Leeds’ season once again.
Whenever the Rhinos seem to be building momentum absences see to it that key players miss vital games as Leeds’ forward momentum hits a brick wall.
It happened again on Saturday as Leeds played with three teenagers in their starting 13 and had a winger on the bench in a move I feel Rohan Smith must have been forced into rather than a tactical decision he consciously made.
With another big game round the corner against Wigan, what injury concerns does Mr Smith have and what do they mean for Leeds’ chances.
Here’s the latest on Leeds Rhinos’ injured stars:
This, I suppose, is not technically an injury but an illness. He was oh so close to playing with the Rhinos giving him as much time as possible to get himself right but it simply wasn’t to be especially in the heat.
However, with it just being an illness I fully expect him to return to feature against Wigan on Thursday either in the halves as was planned on Saturday or back in his centre role.
In his press conference ahead of the game against Toulouse, Rohan Smith revealed that Austin but his hand up to play against the French side but he just wasn’t right.
He also noted that he expected him to return for the Wigan game so expect him to feature in the 21-man squad.
His halfback partner may not. Though Smith noted that there was a chance he’d play against Wigan and that he also put his hand up to play against Toulouse, Smith indicated it was perhaps a tad optimistic to expect him in the 17 on Thursday.
Never say never though.
This one is a worry. A foot injury, according to Rohan Smith it’s a hard one to gauge just how bad it is.
This week feels like the crunch week for Leeming and will show us whether this problem is a short term or long term issue.
Rohan Smith revealed this week that Briscoe had suffered a few setbacks in his return from surgery.
It was said that Briscoe himself feels good its just a case of getting the ankle ready for games which is set to take a few more weeks.
The stand in stand-off came off the field right at the end of the game against Toulouse leaving Leeds with 12 men to finish the game.
It’s unclear how bad the injury is but the fact Rohan Smith didn’t feel the need to speak about it after the game suggests he should be okay.
Simpson was helped from the field with a suspected lateral ankle injury according to Smith.
The coach then shed further light on this saying that these can be nasty but also sometimes aren’t quite as bad as first feared.
As suspected Hardaker’s upper thigh injury saw him miss the game at Toulouse.
Described as a knock originally, I suspect he’ll be back in the firing line against his former club this week.
Back to square one
I’m back to feeling the way I did when we were forced to bring Zak Hardaker in.
The sheer volume names I’ve just rattled off here is a massive concern and leaves Leeds again down to the bares bones.
Harry Newman will be back from a ban but his may be the last position in which we need bodies if Hardaker and Sutcliffe are fit.
It could be another difficult week.