Rugby League: Messages of good will are greatly appreciated – McGuire

Ali Lauitiiti
Ali Lauitiiti
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I HAVE had better weeks.

Thanks to everyone who’s been in touch through social media, asking how I am and wishing me all the best.

It was a bit scary on Sunday, straight after the game. My injured ankle is the one I broke a couple of years ago, so when something happens you fear the worst.

I was in quite a bit of pain, but the worst thing was the embarrassment of leaving the ground on crutches with my foot in a boot, though fortunately it settled down pretty quickly.

I am still a bit sore, but I’ve had a scan and that has not revealed any major damage, so I’m hoping I won’t be out of action for too long.

This week it has mainly been a case of icing it and trying to keep my foot up, which isn’t easy when you’ve got an 18-month-old boy running around at home, wanting attention.

I really do believe we have the best medical care in the sport here at Leeds.

Our physios Andy Barker and Ben Harper are outstanding and there’s a standard procedure you go through when something like this happens.

I was looked after straight away and they got me in for a scan the following day, so the recovery and re-hab process began immediately. Unfortunately I have been in this situation before, so I know what it’s all about. At the moment I can’t do very much, but it’s a matter of being professional, looking after yourself and making sure you do what the medical people advise.

At the time of writing, there’s a slight chance I’ll be available for tonight’s game, but if not, I am hoping not to be out long-term. The positive is there’s still quite a few games remaining in the year and it’s not a season-ending injury, so I’m aiming to be back fully fit and firing for the really big games at the business end.

The incident has caused quite a lot of fuss. I haven’t really got any complaints about being sin-binned, I shouldn’t have kicked out, but it was just a reaction to being hurt and there was no intent on my part. Equally, I don’t think Marc Sneyd was trying to injure me. I don’t know him, but he seems like a good kid and I think he was just trying to prevent us scoring a try.

Those things happen in a game sometimes and there’s no hard feelings on my part. The disciplinary have dealt with it and that’s the end of the matter as far as I am concerned.

We have got three big games coming up – Hull tonight in the Cup and then St Helens and Wigan in the league – and I’ll be really disappointed if I miss all of those. But at this stage of the season every game is pretty important. The really key matches are still a couple of months away and I want to make sure I am fit for those, rather than rushing back now if I’m not ready.

We picked up a few knocks on Sunday, with Sutty and Cuthbo getting hurt as well. I’m not sure how they are, but obviously it’s not ideal. That’s part and parcel of the game though, especially at this time of the season. It’s why you have a 25-man squad and I am sure whoever comes in – if necessary – will step forward and do a good job. All teams get injuries, it is the ones who have the squad depth and quality to cope that come out on top when the trophies are handed out.

We’ve added to our squad this week by signing Mitch Garbutt from Brisbane Broncos. He’s not somebody I know a lot about, but I am looking forward to meeting him when he starts training on Monday.

It’s exciting having a new player come in midway through the year and with us being a bit short on bodies at the moment, it’s just what we need.

The best mid-season recruit I can remember was Ali Lauitiiti, back in 2004.

He did a fantastic job for us that season and went on to be one of the best overseas signings the club has ever had.

Mitch Achurch and Jonesy are both still on the casualty list, so an extra man in the forwards will give us a real lift.

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CARL ABLETT faced my questions for today’s column.

Abbo – who, despite appearances, is only 29 – made his debut in 2004 and has been a regular in the team since 2007.

He is one of the most versatile players in the game.

He’s won Grand Finals in the centre and the pack and I reckon he was very unlucky not to be part of England’s squad for last year’s Four Nations.

The way he is playing this year, I don’t thiunk he will be far off when the squad’s selected to face New Zealand at the end of the year – and he must be one of the first names on our teamsheet every week.

If you’ve got any questions for Rhinos players, email me via Peterj.Smith@jpress.co.uk or you can contact me on Twitter.

1: What’s your favourite food?
Thai.

2: Favourite holiday 
destination?
The Maldives.

3: Dream car?
Aston Martin.

4: Favourite away ground?
KC Stadium.

5: Toughest opponent?
Melbourne Storm.

6: Best rugby league moment?
The 2012 Grand Final.

7: Favourite joke:
Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Doctor.
Doctor Who?
You just said it!

8: Wembley or Old Trafford?
Wembley.

9: Do you have any 
superstitions?
No, not anymore.

10: Funniest team-mate?
He’s annoying rather than funny, Ryan Hall.

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