LEEDS RHINOS talisman Rob Burrow is receiving treatment for a long-standing groin problem, but expects to be fit for the start of next season.
Burrow revealed he played through the pain barrier at the end of the 2014 campaign after suffering a recurrence of the injury in July.
The 32-year-old half-back/hooker has been unable to train fully in pre-season so far, but is confident he will be able to begin running in the new year.
“I was injured towards the end of last season,” confirmed Burrow.
“I never really got over that, but I had to wait until the off-season to have therapy, which is a series of injections.
“I have had it before and it’s why I missed three games after the Challenge Cup final. I came off the bench in our final game and I was really struggling.
“Going out of the play-offs wasn’t a blessing in disguise, but I was able to get my therapy done earlier.
“If we had got to the Grand Final I would have had it done after that, so I am ahead of where I might have been. I have had the injections now, but I can’t run for two months.
“I am working on the bike and things like that – there’s me, Kev (Sinfield) and Joel Moon, quite a few of us. I am not in full training now, but I’ll be all right for the season.”
Burrow said the injury, which causes severe stabbing pains, had been bothering him for “quite a while”, before forcing him off the field late in the Wembley win over Castleford Tigers.
“I had steroid injections, which can fix it in the short-term. But the break I had when I was out with a broken collarbone brought it back on again.
“The specialist said there’s two things can bring it on: sudden overload or rest.
“It will have been the rest, because I wasn’t running for a long time and then I was straight back into the thick of it.
“It was after the Salford away game, which was the second or third game back for me, when I started getting the pains again.
“I was managing it, but if I am honest I wasn’t 100 per cent and I was probably only 60 per cent in the last game. But I am confident I’ll be all right for the start of next year. That’s the good thing about us going out (of the play-offs) early.
“I started pre-season in November instead of December, so I’ve got an extra month of training.”
The defeat by Catalan Dragons was Rhinos’ earliest exit from the play-offs since 2006.
It came after they finished sixth in the league, their second-worst regular-season placing in the summer era.
Rhinos lost all four games following the Cup final success.
“We were disappointed in the play-offs. But you can quickly lose sight of the fact we won the Challenge Cup. I don’t want to make excuses, but we seemed to put a lot into the Cup.
“We want to win the Challenge Cup again next year and do better in the league.”
Rhinos have sparked speculation they could be interested in Brisbane Broncos’ Samoan prop Josh McGuire, after the club’s official Twitter account began following him.