Rohan Smith reacts to losing star player for the start of 2023 after he pushed himself for World Cup

Leeds Rhinos have paid the price for having a star player in the England the Rugby League World Cup.

That is because star player and 2022 Dream Team member Mikolaj Oledzki has been forced to undergo surgery which will see him out for 12-14 weeks which means he will at least miss the first four games of last season.

It comes because Oledzki picked up an injury against Catalans Dragons in the play-offs and went on to help Leeds to the Grand Final and play for England but it has come at a cost and sees him miss the start of next season.

On this Head Coach Rohan Smith commented, “It is never ideal when players have to have surgery but we are fortunate on the whole with our group that very few players are in that position ahead of the 2023 season. Understandably, Mik was keen to push himself for England selection for a home World Cup and that was his reward for an outstanding season with the Rhinos. Unfortunately, his time away has worsened the injury and he has immediately gone to have the operation. It is a long season, and especially when you consider the amount of minutes Mik played last year, it will not do him any harm looking at the bigger picture to have some extra time off the field.”

He will be joined by new signing from Batley Bulldogs Luke Hooley who has picked up an ankle injury:

“Luke rolled his ankle in training which didn’t look serious at the time however the scans have revealed an issue. The decision was taken to take decisive action to make sure he is back on the field as soon as possible rather than rehab and then make a call. Both players are in the best possible hands with our medical team and their operations went well with no complications,” Smith reflected.

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