LEEDS RHINOS forward Anthony Mullally has confirmed his rib injury is not as serious as first thought and he has been cleared to play.
Mullally was hurt early in Rhinos’ Easter Monday win over his hometown club Widnes Vikings.
He missed the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup defeat of Doncaster four days later, but returned against Huddersfield Giants, his former side, last week.
The Irish international got only limited time at the beginning and end of the game, but confirmed the injury will not rule him out of tomorrow’s crunch fixture at Catalans Dragons.
“It’s pretty sore, but not as bad as expected,” Mullally said.
“They thought it was a fracture, but it was cartledge not rib – so not as serious.
“It’s still as painful, but it’s a short recovery process.
“It’s sore, but you’re not out for too long – just jab it up, strap it and get back on like most players do.
“It’s just one of those things, it’s rugby and you have to crack on.”
The diagnosis was a relief for Mullally, who has been in outstanding form this year and a boost for Rhinos.
He said: “I’ve enjoyed playing and being consistent in the team, so it would have been disappointing if I’d been out for a long time, so just to miss the Doncaster game was a big joy for me.”
Mullally and his fellow forwards will have to step up tomorrow.
Catalans are known for their big, physical pack and Leeds must get on top up front to have any chance of returning to England with the points.
“They come at you hard, especially at home,” Mullally said.
“They are a different team playing at home.
“They’ve always been notorious for a big forward pack, but we’ve got most of our forwards available this week.
“I know we’ve got a couple of lads away with England, but that shouldn’t make a difference – we’ve got people to come in.
“It will be a big test over there, but we’ve got to put things right after the Huddersfield game.”
The 31-12 defeat eight days ago wrecked Rhinos’ hopes of going into pole position in Betfred Super League and ended their long unbeaten home run.
Mullally admitted: “It was disappointing because we could have gone top of the league.
“I know we might not have been top for long, but after the journey we’ve been on for the last 18 months or so it would have been significant. But it happened and we’ll just crack on. After the Castleford game [at the Magic Weekend] we’ve got a load of games in a short period again so we’ve got a chance to get back up there and try to get to the top of the table.”
Rhinos’ players were given four days off after the Huddersfield match.
Mullally said: “The coaches were pretty frustrated after the game, but everyone’s been positive this week.
“There’s been some constructive criticism in video review and we’re just looking forward to putting it right on Saturday.”