LEEDS RHINOS hooker Brad Dwyer has undergone shoulder surgery, but is confident of being fit for the new season.
Dwyer revealed he was operated on soon after Rhinos’ final game of 2018, at the end of September and is ahead of schedule in his recovery.
He was one of 18 players who reported in for the first day of pre-season training yesterday.
The majority of Rhinos’ senior squad will return next Monday with everybody due back at the club before Christmas.
It has been a short off-season for Rhinos, but Dwyer insisted – with a new coach at the helm and an opening Betfred Super League fixture looming at Warrington Wolves on February 2 – there is no time to lose.
“It was a good break,” he said.
I didn’t want the season to finish really so I am excited to get my shoulder fixed and get as fit as I can and hopefully carry some of that form on and kick on and push on from it.Brad Dwyer
“I got quite a bit done so by the time I got back off my holiday I was pretty keen and eager to get back in training.
“Plus, I had a shoulder op’ so it was good to get some treatment on that and things are going well with that so it is good to be back.”
Dwyer expects to be fit to play “around Christmas time”.
He confirmed: “I can still run and stuff, I am probably a bit ahead of schedule.
“I am in a good spot at the minute.
“I had the op’ on the Wednesday after we played our last game. It was something I’d needed for a few months before that, but I could play with it.
“It was good to get that fixed up and I am keen to get going.”
The 25-year-old joined Rhinos from Warrington Wolves a year ago and scored eight tries in 23 appearances during his debut season.
His form was one of the few positives from Rhinos’ Qualifiers campaign and he is looking to build on that in 2019.
He said: “Confidence-wise I am in a really good spot. I didn’t want the season to finish really so I am excited to get my shoulder fixed and get as fit as I can and hopefully carry some of that form on and kick on and push on from it.”
New coach Dave Furner took charge of training for the first time yesterday and Dwyer reckons the entire playing squad is keen to impress.
“It’s a blank canvas for everyone,” he said. “I was pretty much in that situation last year, coming into a new environment.
“I think it’ll be good for everyone really, just that kick up the backside and the incentive to show you can do some good stuff and impress. No matter what Dave brings in, the fact everyone will have to impress will be good for us.”
Rhinos face a daunting start away to Grand Finalists Warrington, champions Wigan Warriors and league leaders St Helens inside the opening month.
But Dwyer insisted: “A few people have mentioned that to me, but I don’t think there’s many easy games. It will be good for us as a team to find out where we’re at against those teams.
“Everyone will be in the same position and hopefully we can have a good couple of months building towards it and a good start. It will be a tough start, but if we do well it’ll put us in a great position to kick on from there.”