LEEDS RHINOS winger Ryan Hall has targeted the Super League game at high-flying Wakefield Trinity Wildcats as his comeback following a troublesome ankle injury.
The prolific England star has missed the last 11 matches for the defending champions – the longest stint he has been sidelined since debuting with them in 2007.
Hall admits it has been tough, especially with Rhinos floundering at the bottom of the table, but hopes to return a fortnight tomorrow.
“I’m a couple of weeks away yet,” he told the YEP.
“I think the game at Wakefield will be the one.
“It’s one of those things; I can’t really be thrown in at the deep end with this. We have to get it right and it still needs some more work on it.
“The injury was a lot worse than first thought.
“As one of the physios said, it ‘presented’ well but there was some stuff there which was worse than expected.
“It is hard. I’ve always been one of those who’s played every game but I’m seeing the other side of a rugby league player now. It is difficult and I’m not enjoying it.”
Just as struggling Leeds see players return from injury, however, they tend to lose some more.
Australian centre Joel Moon is back for tomorrow’s home fixture with Catalans Dragons after a two-month lay-off, prop Anthony Mullally returns after missing last week’s Warrington loss with a dislocated finger and hooker Beau Falloon is also in.
But dropping out are Man of Steel Zak Hardaker (shoulder) for up to four weeks, fellow full-back Ashton Golding with an ankle issue and Brad Singleton, who serves a one-game ban.
“It seems to be that way; that seems to be our season,” said Hall, who has not played since the 30-18 win against St Helens on March 18, Leeds winning just once in the interim.
“A lot of it has come from injuries and that’s been a big part of our adversity but, regardless of all that, we’d be playing a lot better than what we are doing at the moment.
“It’s hard really to slam the team as I’ve not been involved for a number of weeks now but we all know we should be performing a lot better than this.”
Catalans arrive at Headingley in joint-second place, just two points behind leaders Hull FC.
One reason behind their success is the form of Jodie Broughton, the Leeds-born winger who has scored 16 tries in just 14 games since joining from Huddersfield Giants in the off-season, including one in Saturday’s 34-16 win over Hull KR.
Hall, 28, said: “We played a couple of games together here in the Academy at Leeds.
“Jodie’s had a new lease of life this year. Living in the south of France has obviously been very good for him.
“I saw him at a wedding before he made the journey down there and he was excited to be going and meeting all the lads.
“I’ve not spoken with him since but I’ve seen the way he’s been going.
“After the reduced game time he had at Huddersfield last year, he’s really bounced back and shown his true colours and is playing really well for Catalans.”
The visitors, meanwhile, have Willie Mason, Morgan Escaré and Thibaud Margalet coming in for the injured Louis Anderson, Greg Mounis and Dave Taylor.