Kruise Leeming is cautiously optimistic that he will finally be able to pull on a Leeds Rhinos jersey following lockdown.
The hooker, a high-profile signing from Huddersfield Giants in the off-season, has been unable to make his debut after suffering a micro fracture in his knee.
Despite suffering the injury before Christmas, it was only operated on in late February as the Rhinos had hoped for a natural recovery.
That never materialised and it forced Leeming to go under the knife. Rehabilitation has also been a challenge because of Covid-19 restrictions. But with his layoff now having been almost six months, Leeming can see light at the end of the tunnel as his progress continues.
“It feels really good,” he said.
“I don’t want to speak too soon as these injuries have a way of going well, then one day you wake up and it’s sore. But I’m very positive; let’s just say that.
“I don’t want to put pressure on myself. But if we had to put a bet on it, my bet would be stacking towards me being ready 60 to 40. Those odds might change as we get closer.
“I don’t know whether there will be any bumps in the road, but I’m optimistic.”
As part of his recovery, the England Knights representative is now back running after several long-distance bike rides, including a 100-kilometre effort around Yorkshire.
“There have been some days where the motivation is low and the weather isn’t too great,” he said.
“I can’t go outside; I’ve got to do the weights inside and I’ve struggled with that.
“But my main focus, aside from rehab, has been getting on my road bike, I bought it just before lockdown and it was perfect timing.
“I’ve seen parts of England I’ve not seen before, so it’s really helped me rather than being on a watt bike. It’s built muscle in my legs.”