Leeds Rhinos coach provides fitness update on Paul Momirovski and David Fusitu’a

Aaron Bower
Paul Momirovski Leeds Rhinos Alamy

Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith admits he is unsure whether centre Paul Momirovski will be fit to feature in their Easter clash with Castleford Tigers, after he was sent for a scan to determine the severity of an ankle problem.

Momirovski returned to the Rhinos side on Friday night for their defeat to St Helens in the Challenge Cup, and Smith conceded he was sore in the aftermath of that game.

But Leeds have sent the centre for a scan to determine just how tricky the problem with his ankle is, and whether he could be fit enough to line up for the Rhinos on Thursday night in the opening game of Rivals Round.

Smith said: “He’s not too bad. He was hampered a little bit during the game, but he was sore after the game. He’s not too bad today, he’s having a scan to check the extent of the damage and that’ll give us the best indication of the best path forward.”

When asked if Momirovski would be fit to feature on Thursday, Smith said: “I’m not sure. He’s recovered okay, but it’ll depend on what the result of the scan is.

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“Ankles can be tricky at times, they can sometimes feel okay but they’re not very functional. The scan will determine the process.”

Winger David Fusitu’a is also closing in on a return to action after a knee injury which has ruled him out of the start of the new season – but Smith insisted Easter has come too soon for him.

“He’s going well, he was six to eight weeks post-surgery and this week it’ll be five weeks, I think,” Smith said.

“It’ll be under six weeks if he was to play this week and he’s not done enough work yet. He’s going in the right direction but he’s feeling good about the knee.”

This year is the first time in recent memory Super League clubs will play just once over the Easter weekend, rather than twice – and Smith admitted it was a relief to not have to prepare for a hectic Bank Holiday period.

“Common sense finally prevailed there,” he said. “A five-day turnaround is still a tough battle at times for some players to recover fully so getting rid of that turnaround is common sense and player welfare is being exercised.”

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