Achurch and Jones-Buchanan back to fitness

Leeds Rhinos forwards Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Mitch Achurch have made themselves available for selection this week after recovering from injury.

Achurch has shrugged off a twisted knee sustained in Ryan Bailey’s testimonial while JJB, as he is affectionately know, has recovered from knee and calf problems and could make his first appearance of 2014 against Huddersfield on Friday night.

“They are both available for selection,” coach Brian McDermott told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“We have got a bit more depth now, which is good.”

McDermott also spoke of his joy at coming through last week’s Catalan Dragons fixture unscathed.

“Everybody’s pulled through, though we have got a group of tired fellas after all the travel,” he said.

Mitch Achurch. ©RLPhotos
Mitch Achurch. ©RLPhotos

“Kev [Sinfield] pulled through reasonably well [despite being a doubt for the game]. Danny Mags [McGuire] has got a bit of a bump that he sustained in the game, but there’s no long-term problems.”

There was also positive news surrounding prop Ian Kirke, who underwent rib surgery in January. McDermott says he is ‘two or three weeks away’ from a return to first-team action.

“It is a peculiar injury,” McDermott said. “The bone has effectively healed, but he has been out of contact for a long time now and hasn’t been able to do anything for that length of time. We are almost starting again to get him fit.

“For two or three seasons we haven’t had an injury-free run,” McDermott added.

“I am touching wood as I say this, but let’s hope that continues.”

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