Leeds Rhinos have been stung by an early injury blow after Luke Gale suffered a torn pectoral muscle injury in training.
The halfback, who kicked the winning drop goal in last year’s Challenge Cup Final, will undergo an operation on Wednesday.
“His enthusiasm got the better of him in the gym,” head coach Richard Agar said.
“He’s torn his pec through lifting in the gym. It’s one of those things. He was fully warmed up and not overdoing it weight wise but he’s torn his pec. It’s a real tough one to get done in the first couple of days, but I guess if it’s going to happen it’s better doing now so we can get it fixed up.
“Once you get the operation done, which is early next week, there’s a possibility of nine to ten weeks. Luke is a good healer and he will tick every box.
“He’s coming off the back of a really enjoyable year and buzzing about coming in, so to come up with something like that so early is frustrating. But it’s the sport we play and every now and then you get instances like this.
“With the full prognosis following his scans and in terms of an operation, we do know the time length and if we’re good enough to shave one or two weeks off that he won’t be too far off the start of the season.”
In better news, Harry Newman returned to training last week as he recovers from a double leg break.
Meanwhile, Agar has admitted one of the challenges presented by Covid-19 has been the ability to arrange pre-season games.
The Rhinos’ schedule, which normally features warm-up games with Hunslet and Featherstone, is in doubt.
“We usually play Hunslet in the Lazenby Cup and we usually play Featherstone because of our dual-registration relationship,” explained Agar.
“I’ve spoken to James Webster about it, but because of the Championship start date and what we’ve got organised, it’s really hard to find a suitable date unless you play really early, which, because of the short pre-season, makes it really hard.
“We’ll perhaps consider running with one friendly. Ideally I’d like another, but trying to fit that into the calendar is very difficult.”
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