Rohan Smith on Mikolaj Oledzki timeframe & verdict on James Bentley suspension

Josh McAllister
James Bentley, Leeds Rhinos, Mikolaj Oledzki

Pictures by Allan McKenzie/ Nigel French/PA Archive/PA Images.

Leeds head coach Rohan Smith has provided an update on Mikolaj Oledzki following his shoulder surgery, as well as his thoughts on James Bentley’s suspension. 

Oledzki, 24, is yet to make his first appearance of the season following a shoulder injury picked up last season and taken through to England’s World Cup campaign.

The forward underwent surgery during pre-season, and is expected to return to action in the next few weeks.

Leeds take on Catalans this Saturday live on Channel 4, although Smith has confirmed that he doesn’t expect the star forward to feature in the Round Six clash.

Leeds boss on Mikolaj Oledzki

“Not this week, no. He could be the week after, or the week after that,” Smith said on Oledzki.

“The choice to play for England and then his shoulder during that period probably got a bit worse rather than better and he needed the surgery.

“As soon as he had the surgery, we knew he was going to miss the start of the season. It is what it is, but Mik’s flying in training.

“He looks in really good condition, big and strong and he’s getting a lot of team training done now. It’s just a matter of getting a bit more work through him and one last check off and then he’ll be away.”

James Bentley verdict

Back-rower Bentley is set to be watching Saturday’s fixture at Headingley Stadium from the sidelines following his one-match suspension.

The Ireland international received a Grade B dangerous contact charge following the club’s defeat to Castleford for a hit on Jacob Miller.

“I thought it was a little tough,” smith said.

“It all happened really quickly that one. Maybe a quarter of a second from the time it left Miller’s hands to when he got contacted. I think James is actually trying to tackle Milner at the time but he just couldn’t stop in time. 

“It’s one of those things. The game has gone strongly in protecting the ball players, in particular the half-backs, and we’ve got to understand that if you tackle someone after they’ve passed or you bump into them after they’ve passed, you run some risks. 

“On this occasion, It’s one of those things that happen in combat sport and there wasn’t any real intent in my opinion.”

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