Leeds Rhinos could be without starting full-back Richie Myler for the remainder of the season, head coach Rohan Smith has confirmed.
The 33-year-old picked up a foot injury during the first half of last Friday’s 22-18 defeat to St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium in Super League.
Myler has missed just one Super League game all season with 19 appearances, scoring six tries and creating a further 17 more, the fifth-most assists in the competition.
“We were probably hopeful that there was nothing much there,” Smith admitted.
“But when a very experienced player says his foot is sore and it’s not settling, he had a couple of days in the boot over the weekend and it’s still sore, so we had a scan and it revealed a stress-related fracture in there.
“Tough guys like that who play a lot of footy usually know when something isn’t quite right.
“There are some interventions there that can sort of support and facilitate recovery and rejuvenation there.
“We’ll be doing everything we can and Richie is already seeking advice and we’ve got him booked in for a few things that may be able to accelerate that process, even if it’s a few days or a week quicker, that’ll be a great result.
“But it’s also one of those injuries you don’t want to be reckless with.”
Rohan Smith discusses full-back options in absence of Richie Myler
Smith says the club has numerous options to fill in, with winger Ash Handley having previously featured at full-back.
Luke Hooley has also been impressing on loan at Batley Bulldogs, playing a part in the side’s run to Wembley in the 1895 Cup, defeating York 22-8 in the semi-finals.
He also most recently featured in the 28-8 defeat to Championship leaders Featherstone Rovers.
Smith admits the club will consider Batley’s Wembley trip, with Craig Lingard’s side set to take on Halifax Panthers as part of a triple-header day alongside the Men’s and Women’s Challenge Cups on Saturday, August 12.
Hooley, 25, made his Rhinos debut and only Super League appearance to date against Hull KR earlier this season in March.
“We’ve got a couple of options there at full-back, and Luke is certainly in the picture,” Smith said.
“He’s been playing some tough rugby with Batley, he’s had some really good performances and they’ve had some really tough, physical games as well against Featherstone and away at Toulouse.
“Luke is in a good position with a good amount of work under his belt now, so we’ll consider that as one of our options.”