Leeds Head Coach David Furner has revealed that Stevie Ward is set for three months out after undergoing knee surgery.
The 25-year old suffered the injury in the Rhinos’ 27-22 defeat to St Helens two weeks ago and went under the knife last week to discover the extent of the damage.
Commenting on the news, Furner said, “Stevie is going to be longer than we first hoped but the process has been started to make sure, long term, that Stevie’s knee is right.
“The surgeon was very confident that he could repair the damage and Stevie will be working hard to get back ready to go for the team.”
The Rhinos boss did relieve fears that captain Kallum Watkins was set for a long spell on the sidelines after picking up another knee knock in the same match.
The Australian admitted that it was frustrating for the England International to be sidelined, but says that he is glad that there is no major damage.
He said: “There was a bit of concern [for Kallum]. He’s been progressing quite well, but to the credit of our medical staff, they took him straight away to the specialist.
“His knee is very sound and the operation that he had previously is not the problem. It’s just some bone bruising… it’s not going to be long-term.”
Furner says that Brett Ferres will captain the side in Watkins’ absence and added that Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Dom Crosby are nearing a return to first-team action.