“He’s in good shape” – Leeds Rhinos close to welcoming back injured overseas recruit 

Josh McAllister
David Fusitu'a, SWPix

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Leeds Rhinos have one of the longest current injury lists in Super League, but head coach Rohan Smith has provided a positive update on one overseas recruit.

The likes of Morgan Gannon, Sam Lisone, Aidan Sezer and Harry Newman are currently undergoing rehabilitations following respective injuries.

Off-contract forward Zane Tetevano was also recently ruled out indefinitely due to a health problem.

But Rhinos boss Smith says that overseas winger David Fusitu’a remains on track with his recovery and is making good progress, with a return date in sight. 

The 28-year-old suffered an ankle injury in the Super League defeat to Hull KR in Round Seven, with further scans confirming that the injury was worse than initially anticipated.

Fusitu’a underwent surgery at the start of April, but is now closing in on his return to action, having been limited to just 21 appearances so far since making the switch to Headingley Stadium ahead of 2022 from the New Zealand Warriors. 

Leeds boss provides positive update on David Fusitu’a

“David Fusitu’a is very close,” head coach Smith confirmed to Love Rugby League.

“He’s probably got two or three weeks to go in his recovery. But he’s in good shape and I’m looking forward to him being back.

“He’s really made the most of this opportunity with his rehab to get a pre-season under his belt that he probably hasn’t had for a number of years.

“It was a 10-week injury with the surgery. He won’t be too far off, and if it’s an extra week for the sake of completing the rehab, then that’s a good result too.”

Smith has now added Tom Holroyd to his absentees list after the front-rower was a late withdrawal ahead of their Magic Weekend clash with Castleford in Newcastle.

The 22-year-old England international was named to start for the final game on Saturday inside St James’ Park, before being replaced by Sam Walters, moving Liam Tindall onto the bench.

Leeds travel to Super League strugglers Wakefield on Sunday in Super League.

“They’re still working through that with some scans and they’re awaiting some results for a calf issue,” Smith confirmed on Holroyd.

“He’s likely to be unavailable, but we’ve got a longer turn around here, so we’ve got a few days before we’ve got to make a decision and name that 21-man squad.”

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