LUCKLESS LEEDS Rhinos forward Andy Yates is reeling from a second shattering injury blow.
The off-season recruit faces another 12 weeks on the sidelines due to a serious biceps injury – suffered in his comeback game after six months out with a ruptured Achilles.
Yates joined Rhinos from Hunslet Hawks in the off-season and was hurt playing for his previous club on dual-registration last month.
The 24-year-old had been hoping to make his Rhinos debut after regaining match fitness with Hunslet, but the latest setback means he is unlikely to play for Leeds this term. McDermott said: “It is the worst news ever for that young man. He had to have six months out with his Achilles and in his first game back he bust his biceps.
“He has ruptured it and he’ll be out for another 12 weeks. It is heartbreaking news for him and he is now on rehabilitation number two with us.
“It is tough news for Andy.”
McDermott added: “He got a knock in his first game back, for Hunslet. We weren’t sure of the extent, but early last week we found out what it was.
“We got him in as fast as possible, he had an op’ towards the back end of last week and he’s on the comeback trail now.
“He has gone through all the emotions with his Achilles. It is hard being injured, but imagine a kid being injured at a new club.
“He hasn’t earned his stripes with us yet and while we all think he’s got promise and he’s the right man for us, he will want to get some runs on the board with us and he can’t. After one game back and a very encouraging game back he has bust his biceps and it is tough for him.”
Rhinos have doubts over several players ahead of Friday’s derby at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Kevin Sinfield (back), Kylie Leuluai (calf), Jamie Jones-Buchanan (calf) and Ian Kirke (head) all missed the 32-31 win over Catalan Dragons two days ago and will be assessed before McDermott names his initial 19-man squad tomorrow.
“We have got a few concerns,” McDermott confirmed. “We have got a concern over Brett Delaney’s shoulder, Mitch Achurch’s groin, Kevin Sinfield’s back and Kylie Leuluai’s calf. We are hoping Jonesy will be back this week, but that’s not guaranteed.”
McDermott said he’s confident Sinfield’s injury is not long-term. “It is not a chronic bad back,” he said.
“He had an impact to his spine – to the middle of his back and it caught on his bone. It has been very sore recently, but if he misses this week I am sure he will be available for the week after.”
Leuluai had been due to return on Sunday after missing the win at Widnes Vikings seven days earlier, but had to pull out during the warm-up.
“It’s a concern only in that when he doesn’t play we are a lesser team,” McDermott said. “In terms of long-term, I don’t think it’s a problem.”
McDermott admitted his players are feeling battered and bruised following the clash with Catalan. “There’s some very sore bodies, it was a tough game.”
The RFL’s match review panel has decided to take no further action against Delaney, who was placed on report for an alleged late challenge on Leon Pryce during Sunday’s game.