Leeds hooker Kruise Leeming still 3-4 weeks away, but won’t rush return

Leeds Rhinos Media Day- Tuesday 14 January

Leeds hooker Kruise Leeming says he is edging closer to making his return from injury, but insists he won’t rush himself back into action.

Leeming, 24, joined the Rhinos in November from Huddersfield but suffered a knee injury in the final training session before the festive friendly against Wakefield.

As a result, the England Knights man has been unable to train since and has missed all of Leeds’ warm-up games and their Super League opening defeat to Hull.

He said: “[It will be another] 3-4 weeks.

“It’s feeling good. I’m going through stages pretty quickly and I’ve not really had a major setback, which I’m hoping doesn’t happen but to get through a rehab programme without the dips would be optimistic.

“I’ve just been going from stage to stage to stage really quickly and healing really well, so hopefully I can carry on and get on the field sooner than expected.”

The timing of the injury, having just joined a new club, hurt Leeming, though he has now come to terms with it – and is in a much more positive frame of mind and not dwelling on his unfortunate start to life at Headingley.

“There’s no good time get an injury. If I get an injury at the start of the year for a team I’ve never played for before, my new team, and I want to impress then that hurts.

“But if you get one in the back end of the year when, hopefully, we’re playing in Grand Finals and Challenge Cups, that hurts as well.

“I wouldn’t say one time is more frustrating than the other time, but it’s just frustrating getting the injury at all and I was gutted, but I have seen past that now and I am looking up, I can see a little bit of light.

“I’ve just started back running again at 50% so I’m getting there gradually. Like I say I’m getting through the stages really quickly, it’s just [about] patience”.

Despite the positive progress, Leeming is also keen not to hurry his comeback and wants to ensure he is 100% fit when he is finally given the go ahead to make his first appearance in a Rhinos shirt.

Initially, it was anticipated that the Swaziland-born dummy half would be unavailable for just a couple of weeks, however further tests showed that the damage was worse than first thought.

He added: “With this kind of injury with your knee, patience is key, so I need to be that and not rush anything.

“The last thing I want to do is come back and then two weeks later it goes again.

“We had a scan and then they saw some things on that so I went for a following scan about a week or two weeks later, and they found something else.

“Originally we didn’t think it was going to be that bad, but then the extra scan we found out something else about my cartilage so that put me back another four or five weeks so it’s a little bit longer than expected, but it’s one of those things.

“If I’m to make a massive impact it’s about getting back to full strength and fitness, without it, that’s when the doubts seem to creep in and you start to second guess yourself because you’re thinking ‘I’m not as fit or strong as I should be’.

“They [Leeds] have obviously brought me here for a reason so I just want to go out and play my game.”

Should Leeming’s recovery continue as expected, he could be back for Leeds’ game against Toronto on Thursday March 5, or their trip to Catalans on Saturday March 14.

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