Leeds Rhinos injury update - Stevie Ward in doubt, but Rhyse Martin set to return

Boss Richard Agar is still uncertain if Leeds Rhinos captain Stevie Ward will be available for Friday’s visit of Warrington Wolves.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 5:38 pm
Updated Monday, 24th February 2020, 7:16 pm

Ward suffered concussion in the first half of the Betfred Super League round one defeat by Hull on February 2.

He had stitches in a facial wound and returned to the field in the second half, but has not played since.

Rugby league’s strict rules on head injuries meam Ward will have to pass various tests before being cleared to play.

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Ash Handley.Pixture by Steve Riding.

“Stevie is week-by-week,” Agar said.

“He has got to get through the protocols and at the moment he is not getting through them.

“He is starting them and then any time he shows some symptoms they have to restart them.

“We will see later in the week if he is getting through those.”

Rhyse Martin. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Fellow second-rower - and vice-captain - Rhyse Martin has been sidelined for two weeks following minor surgery.

“He should be no problem for this week,” Agar confirmed.

Liam Sutcliffe shifted from centre to second-row after both Ward and Martin were ruled out, but took a bang to a knee in the win over Hull KR and failed a fitness test before last Saturday’s game at Salford Red Devils.

He could be in contention for Friday, but Agar said: “We will see how his knee pulls up.”

The coach said Rhinos came through the 22-8 win at AJ Bell Stadium with no major new concerns.

Winger Ash Handley was replaced late on, due to a sore knee, but Agar confirmed: “Ash is good.

“He had a bang late in the game and we took him off as a precaution.

“But it was nothing more than a bang, nothing structural or ligament-wise.

“It was good to give Al [Alex Sutcliffe] some game time off the bench.

“We think he is going to be a really good player so it was good to make sure he got off the bench at the end of the game.”

Tom Briscoe, Dom Crosby and Kruise Leeming remain on Rhinos’ long-term casualty list and young second-rower Sam Walters, who has yet to make his senior debut, is currently in a protective boot.