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Leeds Rhinos star out for months with injury reveals Rohan Smith

Rohan Smith Leeds Rhinos

Under-pressure Leeds Rhinos head coach, Rohan Smith, has provided a major injury update regarding one of Leeds Rhinos key players.

Influential winger Ash Handley sustained a rib injury in the Rhino’s Super League defeat against Warrington. He also missed last Friday’s defeat at home to Huddersfield. Injuries to Harry Newman and David Fusitu’a during the Huddersfield compounded Leeds’ injury problems.

Now Rohan Smith has provided an update on their condition, with Leeds facing an injury crisis in their back line.

Disappointing news for Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos star David Fusitu'a

Credit: Imago Images

Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds, Smith confirmed that winger David Fusitu’a has suffered a significant injury. He has damaged his medial knee ligament which will rule him out for an extended period.

“[Fusitu’a] has got a medial knee ligament injury which is going to be an eight-to-ten-week recovery, so that is really disappointing.

“He’s worked so hard through the other knee injury and was in really good shape. I think that even that first part of the game last week showed what he can do.”

Fusitu’a’s injury is the latest in a string of major setbacks which have limited his impact during his three years at Leeds. Fusitu’a’s contract expires at the end of the 2024 season, and it is unclear whether Leeds will offer him a new deal. However, Smith is still confident that he will still play a part this season.

“We’ll help him through this part, and he’ll be back to finish the season at the back end of the year.”

Boost for English pair of backs

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

Fusitu’a will be joined by Harry Newman on the sideline this week whilst fellow winger Ash Handley may also miss Leeds’ trip to Hull on Sunday afternoon though Smith does not expect Handley and Newman’s injuries to be long-term problems. Handley is even in line for a potential return to the Leeds 21-man squad this weekend.

Smith explained: “Ash [Handley] has been out there running around again. He’s done more each day, so we’ll see where he is after today and whether we name him in the 21 and just give him a few more days or not.

“There are certain things still providing him discomfort and anybody that has had a rib injury will know that they can loiter for a period of time.

“He just needs to let it settle enough for it to be manageable and able to perform. He’s trending in the right direction, but we’ll make a call on that tomorrow.”

Newman has had a run of serious injuries since he broke into the Leeds squad in 2017. However, Smith hopes to have Newman back in the squad in the near future.

“Harry has a lower disk issue so he won’t be available this week but it’s one that will likely settle reasonably quickly.”

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