Jones-Buchanan blow for Leeds
Leeds Rhinos' England forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with the knee injury he sustained in the Super League champions' 40-18 defeat at Huddersfield Giants yesterday.
The second rower, who had scans this morning, has been told he does not need surgery but will have his knee in a brace for six weeks before facing a similar period of rehabilitation.
Jones-Buchanan, who played for England in their win over the Exiles 10 days ago, looks certain to miss the rest of the regular Super League season but could return in time for the play-offs in the middle of September, which could keep him in contention for the World Cup.
Today's news compounds the injury problems for the Rhinos, who were without eight senior players for the game against Huddersfield.
Hopes that prop Kylie Leuluai would return for Sunday's game at Widnes Vikings have been dashed but England centre Kallum Watkins could make his comeback in that game.
Leuluai, who damaged his knee playing for the Exiles against England, has been ruled out for the next three games after his knee was put in a brace.
Watkins was expected to be sidelined for two months after suffering ankle ligament damage in Leeds' clash at Hull FC three weeks ago but intensive work with physiotherapist Andy Barker has resulted in dramatic improvement and the Rhinos are hoping he will pass a fitness test later this week.
Watkins said: "I did fear the worst when I suffered the injury but Andy Barker and the medical team have been great with me in terms of advice and how to look after myself.
"Initially it was just keep the weight off it and then once we knew the damage I was able to build to start putting weight on it.
"The guys are doing it tough at the moment but the young players are really standing up to be counted which is great for the future of the club."