Leeds second-rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan is set for a long spell on the sidelines after rupturing a bicep tendon in his right arm.
The 32-year-old sustained the injury in the early stages of his side’s Super League clash with St Helens on March 28. He played on until half-time, when medics intervened. He underwent successful surgery last Friday and is hoping to make a full recovery within three months.
“I was tackling the big lad, Mose Masoe,” the England international recalled.
“I think it was his elbow that hit my bicep in the tackle. It was in the 11th minute and it just felt like a dead arm.
“At half-time the physio and doctor said if I carried on I would rupture it but it turns out I had already done that. I had surgery on Friday – they cut a hole in the arm then pulled the tendon back into place. It took two hours.
“I don’t regret staying on the field – my team-mates would have done the same. You can’t come off every time you have a knock.”
Ever the optimist, Jones-Buchanan believes the setback will only make him stronger. He said: “I am really disappointed but when I go give talks to kids I always tell them that the adversity in my career is what has made me who I am, not the glory.”
He also ruled out that an ageing body was to blame.
“I don’t think it’s an age thing,” he said.
“I’ve never had the injury before. It’s a perception that if you’re injured at 25 you’re unlucky, but if you’re injured at 30 it’s because you’re old.
“I feel as sharp as ever on the field at the moment. I’m not saying it’s easy but I feel very comfortable out there, I’m in the shape of my life when I get on the field.”
The former Great Britain star even hinted that he could come back better than ever.
“My arm is in a sling for two weeks and once that is over I’ll be able to start training, going on the bike and running,” he said.
“Hopefully I will come back fitter and stronger once the muscle heals.
“I spoke to Danny Tickle about it as he has had the same injury and he told me he came back too soon and it ruptured again, so I need to learn from that.”
Finally, JJB – as he is affectionately known to Leeds fans – paid tribute to the support network at his disposal.
“I’m very lucky to be at Leeds,” he said.
“I have a fantastic coach and medical team behind me. Brian McDermott is an incredibly clever coach and is one of the most empathic people I have met. He’s been both encouraging and patient with the run of injuries I’ve had in the last nine months and has given me every opportunity to get back to full fitness.
“God willing, that will be sooner rather than later this time around.”