Leeds Rhinos confirm long layoffs for Harry Newman, Morgan Gannon and Zane Tetevano
and live on Freeview channel 276
Now Smith has revealed the time scale for second-row/stand-off Morgan Gannon and centre Harry Newman - who were injured in the same game - and explained why forward Zane Tetevano is facing an “indefinite” spell out of the team.
Speaking at his weekly preview press conference today (Thursday), Smith revealed Gannon will undergo ankle surgery tomorrow and is facing eight-10-weeks off the field.
Newman sustained a hamstring injury and will be missing for 10-12 weeks. He was restricted to just seven games last year because of similar issues.
Tetevano was expected to return in Saturday’s Magic Weekend derby against Castleford Tigers in Newcastle, after completing a two-match ban, but is not included in Rhinos’ 21-man squad.
Smith said: “Zane had a health concern a week or two ago so we are awaiting results from a specialist and some further advice there.
“It is one of those private matter-type situations and he will be out indefinitely, until we provide an update.”
The coach stressed: “He is in good spirits and in good general health. His professional sporting training and game play is the part he can’t do at the moment, but his general health is positive.”
Two more experienced players, David Fusitu’a and Sam Lisone, remain on Leeds’ injury roster, but Smith stressed: “It is what it is, it’s a combat sport.
“All three of [last week’s] injuries were players in real awkward positions you can’t practise or account for.
“When people are competing in contact, that’s where those injuries have come from. It is just the nature of our sport.
“We have got a few others who are on their way back this week and also in the coming weeks we’ll get some more troops, but that’s why we have a squad, to deal with situations like this.
“It is an opportunity for us to give some other people game time. The experiences those guys get over the next few weeks and months will help us as a club going forward.”
In better news for Rhinos, Smith said there are no other major doubts from last week and stand-off Blake Austin (calf muscle) and second-row James Bentley (concussion) are both back in the squad after a two-game absence.
“He is a quick healer,” Smith said of Austin. “I didn’t think he was going to be a chance, but he has run well earlier in the week and completed some training today.
“We will see how he is tomorrow and make a calculated decision there. We’re certainly not going to put anyone at risk by bringing them back too soon, but he is definitely a chance.”
Smith reported Bentley “needs to get through some more stuff tomorrow, but is fine from the head knock”.
He said: “He has had his wisdom teeth removed and there were a few complications around that afterwards and he also had a very minor knee injury from the incident at Wigan. He is close, he got through most of training today so we will see.”
Second-row James McDonnell is available following his sending-off against Saints. He was suspended by the RFL’s match review panel for an alleged grade D punch, but that was overturned after Rhinos appealed.
Smith noted: “Those sort of situations, ideally they are put on report and investigated later, but in the end we are glad we got a good hearing, they went through the process and a positive outcome was reached for us.”