Play-off aim for Achurch

Returning in time for the Super League play-offs is the aim for stricken Leeds Rhinos forward Mitch Achurch.

Achurch, 25, suffered a series of injuries in the Rhinos’ defeat at Warrington earlier this month, but is making rapid progress as he battles to get back on the field.

“I’m good,” The Australian second-row said, “I am pretty happy with the news my injury isn’t as bad as first thought.

“It’s a bit more positive now and I am just concentrating on re-hab and getting back in six weeks.”

Achurch was hurt in a seemingly innocuous incident and his initial fear was a snapped anterior cruciate ligament (acl).

That would have required a full reconstruction and ruled him out until the start of next season. Therefore, while the actual diagnosis is shocking, it allows for a much quicker return.

“I have torn my quad, dislocated my kneecap and done my mcl (medical cruciate ligament),” he explained in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“Obviously when I heard that, it didn’t sound real good. I thought I would be in surgery and that would be my season, but when I saw the surgeon he said they were hoping to get away with not doing any surgery.

“We will go from there – it’s six weeks and hopefully I will be back on the field.”

That gives him a realistic chance of featuring in Leeds’ post-season campaign.

“I am going to aim for about the Catalan game,” he confirmed. “That is two weeks before the play-offs.

“I won’t have run for six weeks, so there may be a bit of a concern over my fitness and that sort of stuff.

“All I can do is really train hard and re-habilitate as well as I can and hopefully I will be some use in the finals.”

Achurch is on a long-term deal and said he is happy at Headingley. “I feel at home here now,” he stated.

“I have moved in with Brad Singleton and he is a different character. I am really starting to enjoy myself.

“I was living by myself at Brent Webb’s old house before and I was a bit isolated, living a bit further out of town.

“Now we are living right in the middle of Headingley, we are getting out and about and this weather is helping. I am pretty happy at the moment.”

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