WEMBLEY HERO Danny McGuire has refused to rule himself out of Leeds Rhinos’ return to First Utility Super League action on Friday night.
McGuire was among the try scorers – and kicked a late drop goal – in Rhinos’ 23-10 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final victory over Castleford Tigers three days ago.
A rib injury suffered in the final 10 minutes meant McGuire spent the early part of the evening’s celebrations in a London hospital, but he played down fears of a long spell on the sidelines.
“I got taken to a hospital pretty close to central London,” McGuire revealed. “The only good thing was I beat the traffic straight after the game!
“I knew I had hurt my ribs, but I think you know as a player if it is a serious injury and I didn’t think it was.
“But I had a few tests and the doc was a bit worried about a lung injury, about whether I had punctured it.
“The next minute I was in the ambulance, with the blue flashing lights, on my way to hospital. I was devastated really, because I wanted to be on the bus with the lads after the game.
“Those are memories you don’t forget, so I was disappointed I missed out on that. But I suppose you have to make sure your health is all right. I got back to the hotel not long after the lads anyway, so I didn’t miss much of the celebrations.”
McGuire added: “It is nothing serious, it’s just ribs – rib cartilage. I will just see how it goes, see how it settles down.
“It is one of those injuries that takes a while to settle down and it might be a case of just cracking on with it.”
Rhinos prop Ian Kirke played with a similar injury last season and McGuire said: “There’ll be a lot of players struggling with ribs, because of the nature of our sport.
“People protect it and just get on with it. It is a bit sore at the moment, but I’ll see how it settles down and hopefully I’ll be all right for Friday.
“I haven’t had a proper check-up with the physio yet. Twisting and turning doesn’t feel too great at the moment, but hopefully that’ll settle down and I’ll have a chance.”
McGuire was hurt before he kicked the goal which moved Leeds three scores clear of Tigers and sealed their first Challenge Cup triumph since 1999.
“It would have taken something pretty serious to get me off the pitch,” he said.
“The doc was a bit worried, but there was no way I was coming off. I was determined to see it out.
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“At the time we were 12 points up so we were pretty confident we were going to win and then to get the drop goal to seal it was really special, so there was no way I was coming off.”
Captain Kevin Sinfield feinted to kick a one-pointer before slipping the ball to McGuire, who landed the crucial kick.
“It is something we do work on,” McGuire confirmed. “Kev is always going to be first choice, because there’s not many better than him.
“I set up on his outside or his inside in case there’s a bit of pressure and thankfully it went straight through the middle.”
McGuire’s try means he has touched down in winning Super League, World Club Challenge and Challenge Cup finals.
He said. “I’ve said in the past that semi-finals have been like my finals.
“I have had a lot of good games at that stage, but to score and be part of the winning team and for everybody to play so well, it is really special.
“To be part of Challenge Cup, Super League and World Club wins, it is a special bunch of guys we’ve got here.”