AS OF today, Leeds Rhinos centre Jimmy Keinhorst is no longer an injured player.
Keinhorst has not played since suffering a freak hand injury in Rhinos’ defeat at Warrington Wolves exactly three months ago.
His recovery officially ends today and he is available for Sunday’s trip to Salford Red Devils, though the home game against Hull in seven days’ time may be a more realistic option, and there is a possibility he could make his comeback playing on dual-registration for Featherstone Rovers.
Keinhorst’s availability is a boost to Rhinos who have been forced to mix and match in the left-centre since he was ruled out, with Liam Sutcliffe, Stevie Ward, Joel Moon, Ash Handley and Ryan Hall all filling in.
“It is 12 weeks since the operation [today],” said Keinhorst, who tore a tendon in a finger making a tackle against Warrington.
“To go straight into the Salford game might be a bit of a stretch so I am potentially looking at the week after against Hull. According to the surgeon it takes a full 12 weeks to heal. Anything before and there’s a potential of it re-rupturing.
“I have just had to take care of that, but I have been doing what I can running-wise and so on.
“I have been speaking to Mac [coach Brian McDermott] and there might be a possibility of going to Fev for a match to get match fitness, but we will see what happens.”
Keinhorst, 26, was one of Rhinos’ most in-form players before the injury and he admitted it has been tough to miss out after finally establishing himself as one of Leeds’ first-choice 13.
“It has been a bit of a slog, especially for something so little as my little finger,” he admitted of the lay-off.
“It has been a bit frustrating at times with what I can do in terms of my recovery and re-hab and what I can do in the gym. I have just had to crack on with what I can do and make the best of that and keep myself in the best shape possible really with the limited stuff I can do.
“But it’s getting there and hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m playing again.”
Keinhorst will be available for the business end of the season.
Leeds have a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final against Hull looming at the end of this month and the Super-8s begin in August, and he said: “I won’t look too far ahead, but obviously it’s coming towards the back end of the season now and there’s some big games coming up.
“It would be great to be part of that. What I need to do is prove my fitness and show I can keep up with the pace of the game after such a long time out.
“Hopefully I can do that from whenever I come back. I will just take the games as they come.”
Match fitness will be the stumbling block for Keinhorst, but he is confident it will not take long to find his feet.
He added: “I have been able to do running and stuff, but in terms of contact it has been limited.
“I just have to do what I can in the week building up to Hull.
“If it’s deemed I am not ready then so be it.
“I will aim for the next week and the next game.”
Meanwhile, Rhinos under-19s are back in action on Sunday when they visit London Broncos.