Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott has confirmed that experienced duo Rob Burrow and Brett Ferres are both set for extended periods on the sidelines.
Burrow will be missing for around six weeks after having a plate removed for his shoulder, effectively ruling him out completely of Leeds’ Challenge Cup semi-final with Hull at the end of next month.
McDermott said: “Rob Burrow is out for six weeks. He’s having a plate taken out of his shoulder so we lose him for six weeks while they take the plate out – so we’re stretched a little bit in the halves and the centres right now.
“He’s extremely disappointed and we lose a great player and lose a lot of cover. We’re going to have to deal with that but let’s cross our fingers as it could be a worse time of year for it to happen.”
And the four-week lay-off for Brett Ferres following an impending knee operation next week leaves him in major doubt of being fit for that game against FC at the Keepmoat Stadium.
McDermott confirmed: “We also lose Brett Ferres, who’s having an operation on Tuesday to clean out a knee. So we lose him for four weeks.”
Meanwhile, fullback Ashton Golding will not be fit for Thursday night’s clash with St Helens.
The youngster has been battling a hamstring problem for a number of weeks, but he has failed to make it in time for the clash against Justin Holbrook’s side. McDermott said: “The hammy is just not quite there yet. The reality though is that when he plays, it’ll still be there.”
Brett Delaney is also still recovering from a knee issue but McDermott said he is “getting closer” to a return.