Leeds Rhinos dealt Paul Momirovski blow as Rohan Smith updates on Ash Handley and Harry Newman

Aaron Bower
Paul Momirovski Leeds Rhinos Alamy

Leeds will be without Paul Momirovski this week

Leeds Rhinos look set to be without centre Paul Momirovski for a prolonged period after he was sent to a specialist to determine how long he could be on the sidelines for.

Momirovski suffered an ankle injury during Sunday’s victory against Hull FC, and was immediately sent for an MRI on the problem. It is the same ankle he has already injured this year already, and Smith admits Leeds are bracing themselves for the loss of the centre for a number of weeks.

Smith admitted: “He had an MRI yesterday on a syndesmosis injury. It’s a bit more severe than the one he had a month or so ago, that healed quite quickly.

“He’s going to see a specialist this week some time to get a timeframe. We’re hoping it won’t involve surgery but at this stage we’re not 100 per cent surgery. It’s the same ankle. It’s definitely more serious than the injury he had, which he managed quite well for a few weeks to the point where he had no issue.

“It’s quite sore at the moment, it’s more serious than last time but the extent of it, we’ll wait and see what the specialist says. He’s quite positive character about injuries and how they heal.

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“He’s very professional with it, so he feels as though he can improve things quickly. High ankle sprains can sometimes be painful and settle quickly, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Momirovski’s setback comes at a time when Leeds are without a number of other senior backline players – and Smith admitted he does not expect to welcome back either Harry Newman or Ash Handley for Friday’s clash against London, either.

Newman has a back problem while Handley has suffered a rib injury, and when asked if they were in contention this weekend, Smith said: “Both unlikely, but we’ll see how they get going.

“Harry has had an epidural in his back and he’s getting around much better but he hasn’t done any full training yet. Ash is out there doing some skills and running, we’ve just got to progress things towards contact.

“Those guys have been working away on their rehab in the background, but we’ll see where they’re at tomorrow regarding the 21. I’d say they’re both doubtful.”

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