Jack Broadbent injury: Leeds Rhinos rising star could be back in action sooner than expected
Leeds Rhinos' emerging talent Jack Broadbent has pledged not to give up on the 2021 season.
The outside-back was expected to miss the rest of the campaign after suffering ankle ligament damage earlier this month, but it now appears the injury is not as serious as first thought.
Broadbent missed only one of Rhinos’ first 12 games this season, before being hurt early in the win at Warrington Wolves 22 days ago.
He was one of Rhinos’ form players at the time, having scored seven tries in his three previous appearances, including four against Leigh Centurions in the match before his injury.
It was initially feared he would be sidelined for 12 weeks, which would have effectively ended his season, but the 20-year-old is hopeful he can beat that deadline and pull on his boots again this year.
“It is not as bad as the MRI showed, which is positive news,” he said.
“It could be four weeks off that, so we are maybe looking at eight weeks [from the date of the injury], depending on how it develops and gets better.”
That would take Broadbent to August 30, the date of Rhinos’ derby at Wakefield Trinity.
Rhinos have three Betfred Super League fixtures scheduled after that and the youngster is aiming to be back in contention for those, though he insisted he will not take any chances.
“I am still young,” he said.
“I don’t need to rush back and risk making it worse, but hopefully I will be available for selection for the last few games of the year and the play-offs, if we get there.”
Broadbent, a product of the Batley Boys community club, was Rhinos’ surprise package before his injury.
He made his debut last year, featuring three times when senior players were rested before and after big Challenge Cup ties.
He was selected for the opening game of the 2021 campaign and earned rave reviews playing at full-back, centre and on a wing.
He admitted the layoff is “frustrating”, but also sees it as an opportunity to “develop my body in the gym and focus on myself”.
He is now out of a protective boot and has begun his rehab’, which he said is “coming along well”.
Recalling the incident against Warrington, Broadbent said: “It is my left ankle, I’ve damaged quite a few ligaments.
“I got my foot trapped under Tom Lineham.
“I got back up and running, but they scored in the next set.
“When I was waiting for the [conversion] kick, the adrenaline was flowing and I said I’d run it off, but when that began to wear off, it was too painful and I had to go off.
“Luckily, that was the game we had Konrad Hurrell on the bench, so we were all right.”
Broadbent’s was the latest in a long list of injuries which have marred Rhinos’ year and prevented coach Richard Agar from selecting his best 17.
“It’s the story of our season,” he admitted.
“Harry [Newman] comes back fit and I drop out injured.
“It’s frustrating because it’s my first year in Super League and it was going well, but I look at Harry who was out for 10 months and Callum [McLelland], who hadn’t played since last year.
“I have seen them come back and do it, so this is a big period of time for me and I can’t waste any of it.
“I am working as hard as I can and trying to build my physical strength up.”
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