SIDELINED WINGER Tom Briscoe says he can see light at the end of his injury tunnel.
This afternoon’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie against Huddersfield Giants will be the 10th Leeds Rhinos game Briscoe has missed since suffering a shoulder injury in the loss at Warrington Wolves two months ago.
But Briscoe, who was one of Rhinos’ form players before undergoing surgery, is confident his recovery is on track and he will be fit and firing for the business end of the season.
“I am half way through,” said Briscoe, who scored four tries in the opening five games of the season.
“There’s six weeks left and it’s coming on well. I am getting into a bit more re-hab now, so hopefully it will keep progressing a bit faster now.
“I am on schedule. Since my operation it has been six weeks and it was a 12-week recovery from that, so I am on track. It is very frustrating, obviously. I was hitting a bit of form at the start of the year and I was a bit disappointed to get injured, but it’s one of those things in the game. It can’t be helped, I just have to get on with it and try and get that form back when I get back into the team.”
Super League will split into Super-8s and Qualifiers at the start of August and Briscoe hopes to be back in business by then.
“I should be back a couple of weeks before it splits,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ll have a few games to try and get some form back, then hit the ground running in the Super-8s.”
Briscoe said he has managed to remain positive, despite not being a good watcher.
“When things are going well you want to be part of it,” he said.
“When things are going wrong you want to be trying to help your team out.
“I had a couple of injuries right at the start of my career, but I haven’t had a bad one since 2009, when I did my ankle.
“I’ve had a pretty good run since then.”
Briscoe, who scored Rhinos’ only try in the Warrington game before being hurt, admitted he did not realise at the time he had done anything serious.
Of the injury, he said: “It was something out of nothing.
“There was no massive contact or anything strange.
“Coming away from it I felt like I had pins and needles down my arm.
“I knew something wasn’t right, but not to the extent it turned out.”
The positive for Rhinos from Briscoe’s absence has been the emergence of teenager Ash Handley, who has played in all nine games since, scoring five tries.
“That’s the silver lining for him, from my injury,” Briscoe said. “That’s how a lot of players get their debut.
“It was the same for me at Hull, Gareth Raynor got injured and that’s how I managed to get a few starts.
“Ash has done well and he’s getting better the more games he plays.
“He will gain from the experience and he’s only going to get more confident the more games he plays.”
Meanwhile, Rhinos’ under-19s half-back Jordan Lilley and forward Sam Hallas were in the England academy team to face France under-18s in Carcassonne today, along with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats duo Max Jowitt and Jordan Crowther.
Rhinos Under-19s lost 28-12 at Salford last night. Billy McDermott scored a hat-trick of tries for Leeds.