Leeds Rhinos’ injury roll call is reflective of a rollercoaster year

FROM LITERALLY the opening day of pre-season, Leeds Rhinos have been dogged by bad luck with injuries this year.

By Peter Smith
Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 11:45 am
Leeds Rhinos' Luke Gale suffered a broken thumb against Castleford in April as well as a spate of other injuries this season. 
Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Leeds Rhinos' Luke Gale suffered a broken thumb against Castleford in April as well as a spate of other injuries this season. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

At times, around a dozen players have been ruled out and the squad has also endured two coronavirus outbreaks, one in pre-season and a second midway through the campaign.

When Leeds played host to Huddersfield Giants last month, coach Richard Agar calculated around half their salary cap was unavailable. Here’s a roll call of this year’s injury woes, plus who’s been ruled out through suspension, coronavirus or loan spells at other clubs.

Jack Walker: Suffered a recurrence of a foot injury in pre-season and has not played this year.

Tom Briscoe has been an ever present figure for the Rhinos this season. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Tom Briscoe: Ever present in 2021.

Harry Newman: Sidelined until July by the broken leg he sustained last September, but has played in the last 10 games.

Konrad Hurrell: Missed the start of the campaign with a calf muscle tear. Suffered a season-ending foot injury against Leigh Centurions last month.

Ash Handley: Damaged a knee in a pre-season game at Huddersfield. After a minor recurrence early in the campaign, he was concussed playing for England against Combined Nations in June. He also had to isolate due to a positive Covid test in his household.

Ash Handley suffered a knee injury and concussion earlier in the season. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Rob Lui: Tore a quad muscle in pre-season and damaged a hamstring after one comeback game, in July. Suffered a head injury in last Saturday’s win over Hull.

Luke Gale: Tore a pectoral muscle on the first day of pre-season. Got back for round one, but broke a thumb in Leeds’ second game, served two suspensions and sustained season-ending knee damage against Leigh last month.

Mikolaj Oledzki: Underwent surgery on a foot injury last month. Earlier, he had a spell in isolation after a close contact tested positive for coronavirus.

Kruise Leeming: Has missed only one game this year, when an ankle problem kept him out of the home loss to Warrington in July.

Matt Prior: Stood down for 17 days in August because of Covid.

Alex Mellor: Carried a suspension over from last year, he also served a ban in July and sustained a season-ending knee injury away to Hull later that month.

Rhyse Martin: Has missed only two games, through separate one-match suspensions.

Zane Tetevano: Currently serving his second suspension, he also had a lay-off with coronavirus.

Brad Dwyer: Ever-present this season.

Liam Sutcliffe: Struggled with a knee problem all year, underwent season-ending surgery last month.

Richie Myler: Had a spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury early in the campaign and also served a two-game ban.

Cameron Smith: A hamstring injury in April kept him out of action until mid-July.

Tom Holroyd: Fractured a leg in a pre-season training accident and was unavailable until June.

King Vuniyayawa: Missed several games through separate concussions, including one just moments into his debut.

Bodene Thompson: He was hampered by hip and rib injuries early on and also served a ban after being sent off against Salford in May.

Alex Sutcliffe: Hasn’t played for Leeds since picking up a knee injury against Hull KR in April, but was named in the Magic Weekend squad after being recalled from loan at Featherstone Rovers.

Sam Walters: No major injury problems.

Callum McLelland: Underwent pre-season ankle surgery, then picked up a groin injury. Returned in July, but has been unable to build a run of games due to concussion, illness and knee damage.

Luke Briscoe: No serious injuries.

James Donaldson: No long-term lay-offs.

Jarrod O’Connor: Injury free.

Jack Broadbent: Damaged an ankle at Warrington in July, but made a try-scoring return last weekend.

Corey Hall: No serious injuries, but had a spell on loan at York City Knights.

Liam Tindall: No injuries, currently on loan at Doncaster.

Levi Edwards: Had a spell on loan at Batley Bulldogs.

Morgan Gannon: No major injuries.

Kyle Eastmond: Lack of match fitness delayed his debut, he then suffered a hamstring problem and announced his retirement after just two games.

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