LUCKLESS WINGER Ben Jones-Bishop is “gutted” to end his Leeds Rhinos career on the casualty list.
Jones-Bishop – who will join Salford Red Devils at the end of the current campaign – suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in Rhinos’ home loss to Bradford Bulls at the start of last month.
He has now undergone surgery and is hoping to be back in full training for the start of the 2015 season, next February.
“I had an op’ a couple of weeks ago, on my acl,” he said. “I’ll probably be back in February, I am looking at about that time, but I’ll have to play it by ear and see how the re-hab goes.
“I’ll know nearer the time. I am gutted to go out (of Rhinos) like this, but those are the cards I’ve been dealt.
“I have got to make the most of it. I’ve had a great time here and some great memories and hopefully in the next few weeks there will be plenty more to come.” Jones-Bishop, who played in Rhinos’ 2011 Grand Final win over St Helens, had been hoping to end his Leeds career on a high.
“I’ve had a month now to get my head around it,” he said.
“I had a week or so of feeling sorry for myself, but you’ve just got to crack on, haven’t you?
“For me, I am still here with these boys (the Leeds squad) and they have got their challenges ahead of them and I have got my own challenges.
“It is a case of being focused and making sure I do what I need to do to get myself back out there as quick as possible.”
The 25-year-old will remain part of Rhinos’ squad until the end of the season and insisted: “Nothing changes for me, apart from the fact I am not on the field.
“I will support the boys and still be around doing my re-hab and so on.”
The knee injury is the third serious setback suffered by Jones-Bishop, who sustained a fractured skull during a game for Harlequins on loan from Leeds and also missed the first six months of last season after developing a blood clot at Christmas, 2012.
The former Queens amateur player described his run of bad luck as “just one of those things” and said: “The game is a lot more than what you see on the field.
“Mentally you have got to be a strong individual and I think within this group there’s a lot of mental toughness.
“That has helped me through. It is about being mentally strong and cracking on.
“I have been out a long time before and I think the only silver lining this time is it is the end of the year.
“Touch wood, potentially I won’t miss much rugby. I have just got to get on with it.”
Meanwhile, Rhinos Under-19s beat Wigan 19-18 at Orrell.
The try scorers for Leeds were Tommy Brierley, Nathan Barker and Josh Walters and Jordan Lilley landed three goals and a drop.