LONG-TERM LEEDS Rhinos casualty Keith Galloway hopes to be back on the field in around two months’ time.
Galloway’s recovery from Achilles surgery is progressing well and he has targeted “late March or early April” for his comeback.
The Australian front-rower made 30 appearances in his debut year at the club, but a torn Achilles – suffered in Rhinos’ penultimate game of the year – kept him on the sidelines until the following Easter.
After 13 games in 2017, his season was ended by a similar injury, shattering his hopes of a Grand Final appearance.
Despite that misfortune he is confident he can still play at the top level and has vowed to make an impact in Rhinos’ pack this season, though he admits he is unlikely to play on beyond that.
Galloway had an extended closed-season break, but is now back in training and closing in on his playing comeback
“I went back to Australia, which was good,” he said. “It was good to spend some time back home and see some family.
“It was good for the kids to get back there and see everyone, but now I’m back to work and I am training pretty hard.
“It started after Christmas for me, it does get pretty tough now, training, so hopefully I’ll keep ticking a few boxes and I’ll be close to running. “I’ll start on an Alter-G machine [anti-gravity treadmill], hopefully, in a few weeks and when that happens, hopefully I can progress.”
Galloway is resigned to missing the opening few weeks of the season, but has his eye on a return date in the opening quarter of the campaign.
Most likely I will go back home and settle down, I think,” he said. “I am probably leaning that way. I made my debut in the NRL at 17 and I have been playing professionally for a long time.Leeds Rhinos’ Keith Galloway
“There’s no set timeline, but I am hopeful for late March or early April,” he confirmed.
When he does get back on the field he will wear the No 20 jersey, having been allocated No 8 in his first two seasons at Leeds.
“I guess that’s just the way it operates sometimes,” he said. “I missed a fair bit of last year, I have had two Achilles ruptures and obviously the club has to think to the future.”
This is the third and final year of the former Test prop’s contract and he reckons it is likely to be his last in England.
“Most likely I will go back home and settle down, I think,” he said. “I am probably leaning that way. I made my debut in the NRL at 17 and I have been playing professionally for a long time.
“Hopefully I can finish this year on a high and then that [retirement] would be the most likely outcome, I’d say.”
If he does hang up his boots, Galloway reckons Leeds’ pack has a bright future.
“I think the club is in really good hands in that department,” he said.
“Some of the young kids coming through are really good and they are going to be pushing for a place.
“Singo [Brad Singleton] and Mulls [Anthony Mullally] went to another level last year and Cuthbo [Adam Cuthbertson] and Garbs [Mitch Garbutt] are outstanding props.”