Harry Newman's Leeds Rhinos return delayed until May - but there's better news for teammate Callum McLelland
Super League young player of the year Harry Newman is facing at least another month on the sidelines, his Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar has confirmed.
But there is positive news for injured half-back Callum McLelland who underwent successful surgery on Monday and is facing a four-week recovery.
Newman, a member of the England elite performance squad, suffered a fractured tibia and fibula during Rhinos’ Betfred Super League win over Hull KR last September.
The 21-year-old centre began running a month ago and Agar said: “He has been pretty magnificent from start to finish on his re-hab’, but the last little bit has taken longer than he had wanted.
“He wanted to be available mid- to late-April and that’s probably going to be pushed back two or three weeks, to the first or second week in May.
“But he has handled it well, physically he looks a picture, he is utilising his time well and very determined to come back - but we will look after him too.
“We’re not going to put him back on the field after such a long stint out until we know he’s ready to go, but we’ll get there with him.”
McLelland had ankle surgery last autumn, only for a groin problem to flare up as soon as he resumed training in pre-season.
“He will be out for four weeks, that’s all - which is great,” Agar reported.
“It has been a difficult one, but a specialist has got to the bottom of it, he’s had fairly routine minor surgery and he’s feeling all good, relieved it’s done and hopefully we’ll get him back in contention in four weeks’ time.”
The Scotland international is in the final year of his contract, but Agar said that will “take care of itself” if he “focuses on playing good rugby”.
He said: “We felt he didn’t quite make the most of his opportunities when he played first grade last year, we wanted him to be a bit fitter than he was and he was primed for a big off-season.
“The disappointing thing for him is given our half-back situation, it’s highly likely - had he been fit and had a good pre-season - he would have started for us in the early rounds.
“It is a shame, but I am pretty sure he will get some more opportunities once he gets himself back up and running.”
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