Leeds Rhinos' Tom Holroyd closes in on return after fractured leg - forward weeks away from Super League comeback

Top Leeds Rhinos prospect Tom Holroyd is confident he can see light at the end of his injury tunnel.

By Peter Smith
Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:45 am

The powerful forward has yet to play this season, but is among a host of injured players expected to be back in contention over the next few weeks.

Holroyd played nine times for Rhinos last year - taking his tally for the club to 13 - before a hand injury brought his campaign to an early end.

He missed out on a place in Rhinos’ Wembley side, having featured in the Cup semi-final win over Wigan, but impressed coach Richard Agar enough to move up 10 places in Rhinos’ squad numbers, from 28 to 18.

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Tom Holroyd on the charge for Rhinos against Hull last season. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

That was an indication Agar expected the 20-year-old to be one of Rhinos’ leading front-rowers this year.

His damaged wrist fully recovered, he was in training with the team when a freak accident in the final weeks of pre-season left him nursing a fractured leg.

Now two months into his recovery, he reported he is feeling good and could be available for selection by the end of this month or early in June.

“It was a bit of a wide timescale so it’s a bit hard to put an exact week on it,” Holroyd said.

Tom Holroyd. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“It all depends on how it reacts to running or whether it flares up, but it is a matter of weeks now, instead of months.

“It could be roughly around the four week area - it could be three or it could be six, it all depends on how well it reacts.”

The leg injury happened the week before Rhinos’ pre-season game at Huddersfield Giants, on March 14.

Holroyd revealed: “I broke my posterior tibia, right on the back of my knee - the back corner of my kneecap, it went over, shifted weight and fractured straight down, a two-centimetre crack.

“I had made a pass and planted my left foot and just got caught, it just clicked.

“I got up and tried to walk it off, but I knew something was up so I went in and got it scanned.”

Holroyd didn’t need surgery and admitted the damage could have been much worse.

“It has been a pretty simple injury, really,” he reflected.

“I’ve avoided all the scary stuff - acl [anterior cruciate ligament] and that sort of thing.

“I was in a brace for six weeks and as soon as that was up I was reacting well, I could put weight through it and I was back fully walking straight after that.

“I went to see the specialist and he said it was exactly how he thought it would be, or better.

“I did a bit of running the day after I’d seen the specialist and we are just on with returning to play now.”

Holroyd conceded the layoff has been “a bit annoying”, particularly with Rhinos on a five-game losing run.

He is one of nine players unavailable for last Sunday’s one-point defeat at Huddersfield because of injury - along with two suspended - and stressed: “I want to be there for the team and I also want to prove my worth.”

He said: “I don’t feel like I’ve had the chance to do it, but I am chomping at the bit to get back now.

“I am ready to be back playing and helping the lads out.”

Holroyd joined Leeds from the Siddal amateur club, in his hometown of Halifax and is an ex-England academy international, having featured in the Test series win against Australian Schoolboys in 2018.

Despite the pre-season setback, he pledged his time on the casualty list has not been wasted.

“It has been a good chance to improve other things,” he said.

“In the gym, I have smashed all my targets upper body-wise.

“All my wrist rehab’ has gone brilliantly.

“I feel good - I just need to get that fitness back for running and games.”

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