Why Leeds Rhinos’ half-back believes his injury-hit season isn’t over yet - Luke Gale’s View From The Pitch
TO SAY I am gutted about my knee injury is an understatement.
This year has been a bit of a disaster on a personal level, from day one of pre-season when I injured my pec’.
And it has not just been me; we’ve had injuries left, right and centre and, when the first batch began to clear up, we just got more.
It has been an absolute nightmare.
I thought last year was bad in terms of Covid, but this one has been even worse.
I think, in the back of all our minds, we expected things were going to be back to normal and they aren’t.
That has made it very frustrating.
The challenge I got hurt in last week was innocuous.
Leigh mis-kicked a kick-off, my foot got stuck in the floor and I took a whack to the knee and hyper-extended it.
It’s devastating, but the only good news is it is an mcl - that’s medial collateral ligament - rather than acl, which is your anterior cruciate ligament and means nine months off the field.
It is a very similar injury to the one Alex Mellor got a few weeks ago.
It’s a grade three, which is six weeks out.
I am laid up at the moment with an ice pack on my knee, but I have not given up hope of playing again this year.
I spoke with Rob Lui after the game and our partnership lasted about 15 minutes.
Every time we get some continuity on the field, it gets taken away from us but, if the boys can get into the play-offs, there’s a chance we might get some bodies back for that, which is what I am hoping to do.
I think we’ve got enough strength in depth to stay in the top-six and six weeks takes us up to a fortnight before the Grand Final.
It’s not ideal, but I am not throwing in the towel.
There’s some procedures that can help with recovery and I’ll be talking about that with our medical people today.
I’m not one to bemoan luck or anything like that, but it feels like not much has gone right this year.
I’ve had a couple of bans and three injuries, including my broken thumb, which was another innocuous incident.
But the game is getting more and more like that, rarely do you see a team at full strength.
On a positive note, we have got a big squad, some of our young boys have been great and we know the job at hand.
We have got six games left - seven if the St Helens one gets rearranged - and we’ve got to win most of them to stay in the six.
But we’re not going to be down in the dumps and kick stones.
We’ve got to get our heads up and keep fighting.
Nothing is going to be handed to us and that’s the mentality of the boys.
We had a great meeting on Monday, we all believe in each other and we will dig in and crack on.
If we can get a win against Huddersfield on Thursday evening it will stand us in good stead.
They’ve had a lot of injuries as well, but they have brought some youth in and it seems to have given them a lift.
Our games against them are always close and their coach, Ian Watson, seems to have got them playing the way he wants, so we are expecting a tough encounter.
Finally, I keep hearing I am going to be signing for Wakefield for 2022, which is news to me.
I am not sure where these rumours come from, but they are not true.
I have not spoken to any rival club.
I am still contracted to Leeds and that’s where I’ll be next season.
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