Leeds Rhinos’ stricken prop Andy Yates has reported good progress as he battles back from serious injury.
Yates, 23, joined Rhinos from Hunslet Hawks at the end of last season but suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in November, just four weeks into training for the new campaign.
The former St Helens academy front-rower was told he faced up to six months on the sidelines, but is recovering well and hopes to be back sooner than expected.
“It is getting a lot better,” said Yates, whose foot is still in a protective boot. “I can walk on it now and I’m not using the crutches any more.
“I see the specialist next week and a week later hopefully I’ll get the boot off and then I can start doing some more exercises, like swimming and get fit that way.
“At the moment, I am doing a lot of upper body weights, I have been keeping fit and trying to do as much as I can.
“I’ve been doing loads of rehab and it’s going well. I am taking my time and I don’t want to rush myself back, but at the same time I want to get back as quick as possible.”
Yates added: “I was looking at six months and hopefully I can try and get back a bit sooner.
“I will just have to play it by ear. I don’t want to come back too early and make it worse, but I do want to get back on the pitch.
“When I am watching the boys training all the time, it is a bit frustrating. I want to get out there but I will just have to wait my time and go from there.”
Yates has been putting the hours in as he attempts to stay as fit as possible.
“I am in full days, every day,” he reported. “I am training in the morning and training in the afternoon.
“I do weights in the morning and cardio and rehab in the afternoon. I have not missed any sessions so that’s good.
“I’d rather do that than be sat around doing nothing. I’ve tried to do as much as possible.
“It is taking its time but it has gone a lot quicker by doing that rather than just being sat around doing nothing. It is going well.”
Yates is confident there will be no long-lasting effects, despite the severe nature of the injury.
“A few of the lads have talked about players who’ve done the same thing in the past,” he said. “They’ve come back and made a full recovery. I want to do that.
“At the start of my career at Leeds, it is a bit annoying but I’ll have to put it behind me and look ahead and come back stronger.”
Meanwhile, Rhinos centre Jimmy Keinhorst’s season-long loan move to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats is back on.
Wildcats boss Richard Agar said the stumbling block which held the move up earlier this week has been resolved and Keinhorst and Rhinos team-mate Luke Briscoe were set to train with Wakefield today.
Briscoe – also on a season’s loan – is likely to play for Wildcats in Sunday’s trial game at Featherstone Rovers, but Keinhorst is two weeks away from returning following a shoulder injury.