INJURED FORWARD Mitch Garbutt is confident he won’t be sidelined for long – and hasn’t ruled himself out of Leeds Rhinos’ home game against Catalans Dragons on Friday.
Garbutt was one of seven players – six of them forwards – unavailable for last week’s record 66-10 defeat at Castleford Tigers.
Carl Ablett (suspended) and Rob Burrow (ill) are set to return this week, but Stevie Ward (hamstring) and Jamie Jones-Buchanan (foot) are likely to miss out again and Brett Ferres and Keith Galloway remain on the long-term casualty list.
Garbutt described his pectoral muscle injury as “a little tear” and he said: “It’s just a bit annoying at the moment.
“I’m not sure of the time frame, but I am feeling pretty good so hopefully not too long.”
Of his prospects of being fit for the game in three days’ time, Garbutt added: “It is one of those ones where it could feel really good and once I am pain-free I could be in with a chance.”
The latest injury is Garbutt’s second setback of the season after he missed Rhinos’ win at Leigh Centurions due to illness.
“I haven’t had the best start,” Garbutt said.
“I had a really good pre-season and it’s probably the best I’ve felt in a while, so it is disappointing not to be out there, but hopefully I’ll come back soon.”
Garbutt admitted it was tough to watch his team-mates struggling the way they did last Thursday.
“It was disappointing,” he said of the 12-try demolition, which was Leeds’ heaviest Super League defeat.
“We didn’t play well. I don’t know whether I would have made much of a difference, Cas were really good and we were quite poor so put that together and you get a score like that.
“You look at what you did wrong, but you can’t dwell on it or it starts eating away at you.
“The good thing about this time of the season is there’s always a game next week and we can make up for it on Friday.
“Everyone’s confident in what we can do and we have shown it in glimpses.
“The disappointing thing was our defence had been really good up to that game, we prided ourselves on defence in pre-season, but we will be all right.
“Everyone’s upbeat and looking forward to Friday.”
Rhinos’ pack crisis provided an opportunity for young prop Jordan Baldwinson, who had been playing on dual-registration for Featherstone Rovers, while off-season signing Jack Ormondroyd made his third successive Super League appearance.
“Baldy is holding himself in good stead,” Garbutt said of Baldwinson.
“He hasn’t put a foot wrong, I think he has been quite good for us in the minimal time he’s got.
“The same with Big Jack, he has been really good. Although it wasn’t the best game to be involved in I am sure they will be better for the experience.
“They both had big pre-seasons and Jack’s bought into what we are about and I think he’s been really good in the time he’s had.”