Leeds Rhinos: Tom Briscoe could return from injury within first two months of next season
IF ALL goes well, Leeds Rhinos winger Tom Briscoe could be back in action within the first two months of next season.
Briscoe suffered an anterior ligament injury in Rhinos’ win at Huddersfield Giants on August 2 and expects to be sidelined for between six and nine months
The 29-year-old – who joined Rhinos in 2014 – was hurt in the first half at John Smith’s Stadium, but got up to score a try before hobbling off.
That showed the sort of determination which earned him second place – behind fellow winger Ash Handley – for Rhinos’ player of the year award, an honour based on votes from players and coaching staff.
Briscoe has undergone a knee reconstruction, but confirmed he got off more lightly than some players who suffer an acl.
He is the third Leeds back in two seasons to be stricken by that type of injury, after Kallum Watkins and Ryan Hall last year.
“It is six to nine months,” Briscoe said of the timescale for his recovery.
“The injury isn’t as bad as we first thought, in that I had only done my acl – nothing else.
“There was no other damage, but it’s still an acl and it’s still six to nine months.”
Briscoe had surgery last month and reported: “The operation went well.
“I am walking about, I got off the crutches [11 days ago] so it is all progressing well.”
Briscoe missed Rhinos’ final five games of the season, but admitted the timing could have been much worse and he is staying upbeat.
“Having the off-season [as part of his recovery period] and not missing too many games is a bit of a blessing,” he said.
“I don’t know when I’ll be able to run or anything like that, but he [coach Richard Agar] wants me to train for a month before I play again.
“I’ll do everything I can to get back, but I don’t want to rush it.
“It is one of those injuries where it’s hard to rush, you want to be right and not risk anything.”
In what might be a first for Betfred Super League, Tom’s injury opened the door for his brother Luke Briscoe who was recalled from dual-registration at Featherstone Rovers to take over on Rhinos’ right-wing.
Luke scored three tries in his five-game run in the side, having crossed twice in two earlier appearances this year.
He also made two crucial tackles in Leeds’ closing win over Warrington Wolves.
“He has done really well,” Tom said of his younger sibling.
“He has put the work in at Featherstone, he has got his chance and he’s taken it with both hands.
“He is scoring tries and he did well with those two tackles [against Warrington] so he is doing well.”
The circumstances of Luke’s call up – after he had touched down nine times in 15 games for Rovers – were far from ideal, but Tom insisted he is happy for him.
“I am glad he has got an opportunity to do what he does,” he stated.
“Every time he has got a chance he has taken it.
“I remember last year he did the same so I think we know he is there when needed.”