LEEDS RHINOS’ injury problems have persisted, but things are looking up for Friday’s opponents Wakefield Trinity.
Three of the four players who returned for Rhinos in the 42-10 defeat at Castleford Tigers two days ago are in doubt for this week’s crucial derby.
Forward Brett Delaney made his comeback from a hamstring problem at the Jungle, but suffered a facial wound in the first half and played no further part.
Prop Anthony Mullally, who missed the previous week’s defeat at Wigan Warriors due to concussion, sustained another head knock and will have to go through a return to play protocol. Acting-captain Stevie Ward damaged a shoulder on his return after three games on the sidelines with concussion and will also be assessed before Rhinos’ initial 19-man squad is named tomorrow, along with hooker Matt Parcell (arm). Second-rower Carl Ablett (calf) and prop Mitch Garbutt (knee) could come into contention if they get through training unscathed.
Veteran forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan is back running following knee surgery, but not expected to be available this week.
Trinity are likely to again be without forward James Batchelor, who missed last Saturday’s 35-18 loss to Catalans Dragons due to a head injury, but coach Chris Chester is confident prop Anthony England will be available and outside-back Joe Arundel will come into contention after surgery on an ankle problem. England has been struggling with sternum and biceps injuries and failed to finish last week’s game, but is expected to play on Friday with the aid of pain-killing injections. Arundel’s recovery is around two weeks ahead of schedule and prop Craig Huby (knee) and full-back Scott Grix (shoulder) could also be available later this month after long-term lay-offs.