INJURED CAPTAIN Danny McGuire is making good progress and could be back in action for Leeds Rhinos later this month.
McGuire, who took over as captain in the off-season, suffered a knee injury half-an-hour into Rhinos’ opening First Utility Super League defeat by Warrington Wolves nearly a month ago.
He did not need surgery and is now stepping up his rehabilitation after having a knee brace removed last week.
“I feel all right, I feel like it is coming along really well,” said McGuire, who has been badly missed during the Rhinos poor start to the year.
“I have been able to do some decent work with the physios.
“I am not exactly sure of the time frame yet, it is just a matter of taking it day by day and seeing how it keeps improving.
“I just want to try and get out there with the lads and get back in the mix.
“Obviously it’s frustrating being on the sidelines, but I am just working as hard as possible to try and get back out there.”
McGuire is hopeful of playing at some point in March, if his recovery continues to go according to plan.
He said: “They originally said six to eight weeks.
“It is just over three now so I will be pushing as hard as I can to try and get back as soon as possible.
“There’s a few boxes you have got to tick medically, but I can’t wait to get back out there and start doing my bit for the lads.
“There’s no point coming back if it’s not right. There’s still plenty of the season still to go and lots of things to play for.
“I want to make sure I come back in the best possible shape, but I am doing everything I am told to and that little bit more.
“I have been looking after it really well, so we will have to see.
“I’ll take it day by day and if it keeps improving like it is, hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back out there.”
Rhinos have lost their opening three Super League matches and the Dacia World Club Challenge.
“It is hard to watch,” McGuire admitted. “I am not the best watcher anyway, especially when we are struggling at the minute.
“You feel for the lads. It’s not through lack of effort, we just don’t seem to be putting into practice on the weekend what we are doing during the week.
“It is a bit frustrating, but everybody’s sticking together through what is a quiet start for us and I am sure we will pull through it.”
McGuire was one of eight players – from Rhinos’ 26-man senior squad – unavailable for last Saturday’s round three game at Catalans Dragons.
Also missing were Beau Falloon (broken toe), ankle injury victims Carl Ablett, Tom Briscoe and Ashton Golding, Stevie Ward (knee), Jamie Jones-Buchanan (quad) and the suspended Mitch Garbutt.
Coach Brian McDermott was due to name his initial 19-man squad for Friday’s visit of second-bottom Huddersfield Giants – the only other team without a point – this afternoon.