Jones-Buchanan targets return before end of regular season

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LEEDS RHINOS’ England forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan will take a major step along the road to recovery this week.

The back-rower has not played since damaging a knee in Leeds’ defeat at Huddersfield Giants on June 23. He has missed the last four games, but expects to return for Rhinos’ final home fixture of the regular season, on August 30.

“I am good, I am in good nick,” an upbeat Jones-Buchanan said. “I haven’t put any weight on or lost any considerable fitness.

“This week is the last week I have got to have the brace on my leg. Come Sunday the ligaments should have healed and I can start getting some range back.

“Then I’ll be able to start doing some proper training – running, cycling, swimming and rowing and other stuff that puts real meat in the leg.

“Hopefully if I look after myself over the next three or four weeks I should be back before too long. I have got my eye on the Catalan game, which is the second-last game of the season.”

Jones-Buchanan insisted he has not let his morale suffer because of his injury set-back.

“I’ve got a big chin, but I’ve kept it up,” he said. “I have had a lot of support.

“Richard Hunwicks and Jason Davidson [Rhinos’ conditioners] have been brilliant and Andy [Barker, the physio] has kept an eye on me, making sure I don’t do anything silly and I give the leg every chance to heal.

“Hopefully it will have done, but I will find out on Sunday. I have been doing a lot of work with heart rate monitors to make sure my heart rate gets up.

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