ENGLAND hopeful Ben Jones-Bishop has moved a step nearer his Leeds Rhinos return.
Jones-Bishop resumed running this week, for the first time since dislocating a shoulder in a game against Salford City Reds on March 11.
The 22-year-old full-back/winger was expected to be out of action for 12 weeks and he revealed he is right on course for a June return.
“It has been coming along slowly,” he said. “It has been about six weeks since my surgery, so I’ve got another six weeks to go. I started running this week and it is good to be back training among the lads.
“I have been doing the warm-up, then running around the outside of the pitch while they are in the middle.
“I can see light at the end of the tunnel now. The first two or three weeks were letting it settle and letting the bone attach to the other bone and I couldn’t really do anything.
“Now things have progressed and I am making a bit of headway.”
Jones-Bishop added: “I have got about four weeks’ strengthening programme to do, then after that it’ll be two weeks of contact and then hopefully by the end of the six weeks I will be available for selection.”
The injury occurred just after Jones-Bishop was named in the England elite training squad.
He had begun the season in superb form and said: “It is just one of those things. Injuries are part of the game.
“It tests you mentally, long-term injuries. But Danny Mags and JP (Danny McGuire and Jamie Peacock) have bounced back well (after knee reconstructions) and hopefully I can do the same.
“I want to make sure I come back fit and ready to go.”
Jones-Bishop suffered a similar setback last year, during a loan spell at Harlequins, when he sustained a fractured skull.
“I know what to expect,” he said. “It is important to get it right and not rush back too early.”