Leigh Leopards dealt Keanan Brand injury blow as Adrian Lam reveals timeframe

Drew Darbyshire
Keanan Brand Adrian Lam Leigh Leopards Alamy

Keanan Brand (left) and Adrian Lam (right) of Leigh Leopards

Leigh Leopards utility back Keanan Brand faces between eight and 12 weeks in the treatment room, his coach Adrian Lam has confirmed.

After earning big raps from Lam during his pre-season, Brand made his first appearance for the Leopards in last Saturday’s win over Featherstone Rovers in the Challenge Cup sixth round.

But his afternoon was cruelly ended after just 13 minutes, with Brand forced from the field with a knee injury, leaving the Leigh Sports Village with his leg in a brace.

And scans have now revealed that he faces up to three months on the sidelines.

“He’s got a scan back and he’s ruptured his medial ligament which is the same sort of injury as Edwin Ipape,” Lam told Love Rugby League. “You’re looking at between eight and 12 weeks out, so it’s not good news for Keanan.

“He’s worked really hard coming back into the team and he certainly earned his spot, and he’s just hit a bit of bad luck.

“He’s like Umyla (Hanley), both had a very strong off-season and deserved their chance and their spot but he’s going to be out long-term now. We will rally around him as a group and be there for him as mates and make sure he gets through this period.

“I’m a big fan of Keanan, he made the decision last year to go on Love Island and lost weight which didn’t help him, we joke about that regularly around here, but since he’s come back he’s knuckled down and got into it. He certainly has got the respect of all his team-mates because of the way that he trains.

“He’s a real competitor, he’s got a bit of X-factor about him, he’s got a powerful, strong running game but whether he is a full-back, centre or winger, he’ll get another opportunity in the near future.. I know that because of the person he is and how professional he takes himself and his training so we’ll help him through this period and make sure we get right behind him on his path to playing for this club in the first 17.”

EXCLUSIVE: Leigh Leopards star Ricky Leutele details ‘burning desire’ for Wembley return after missing 2023 triumph

Leigh Leopards coach Adrian Lam provides full injury update ahead of Salford Red Devils clash

Speaking in his weekly press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to neighbours Salford Red Devils in Rivals Round, Lam provided a full injury update on his squad.

“There’s a couple of niggling injuries, some soft tissue stuff again over the weekend,” Lam added.

“There’s three or four players who haven’t trained with us this week so we’re doing it tough at the moment in the sense of fielding a team to train but we’ve got to give everyone right up until kick-off to be okay.

“Lokie (Lam) should be back in the team, Gaz O’Brien is probably a 60-40 chance of playing, so if he doesn’t play it’ll be Zak Hardaker at full-back but we’ll give everyone right up until kick-off to be ready.

“Ricky Leutele has got a tight groin, (Robbie) Mulhern has got a calf and Jack Hughes has got a similar issue as well so we’ve got to make sure we manage those on top of Gaz O’Brien with a calf issue as well. We’ve just got to manage those as we’ve done every week this year.”

READ NEXT: Leigh Leopards and Hull KR’s remarkable Challenge Cup record after being paired again