KEY DUO Danny McGuire and Adam Cuthbertson could be available for Leeds Rhinos’ top-of-the-table showdown with St Helens on Friday.
The pair were among six first-choice players who missed the 24-6 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win at Hull through injury.
Half-back McGuire (ankle) and prop Cuthbertson (calf) were both hurt in the previous Sunday’s victory against the same opposition and had been named in Rhinos’ initial 19-man squad, but did not recover in time to play.
Chief executive Gary Hetherington confirmed: “Danny has an ankle ligament injury.
“There is a lot of swelling, but he will be aiming to be in contention for this Friday, as will Adam Cuthbertson.
“Both Danny and Adam had played in every game this season before the weekend and with them missing for the first time, the team did remarkably well.”
Back-rower Mitch Achurch is on the long-term casualty list with a fractured wrist.
And stand-off Liam Sutcliffe is due to undergo surgery to repair anterior cruciate ligament damage on Thursday.
Hetherington said: “Liam’s is a serious injury, five to six months, but he doesn’t need a full knee reconstruction and he is looking at the Boxing Day game for his return.”
The chief executive added: “It is devastating for him and the squad and team, because he has been such an influential player this year.
“And he’s not going to be able to make a contribution at business end of the season.”
Rhinos’ other first team casualties are forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan (hamstring) and winger Tom Briscoe (shoulder).
“Jamie is a few weeks off,” Hetherington said.
“He has been a big miss, but the positive is it has given him a rest.
“Tom had targeted the Hull [Cup] game}. He is in training, but his recovery from surgery is taking a bit longer than we hoped for.”