Zak Hardaker out of cast and ready to return to Leeds Rhinos fold
Zak Hardaker hopes to return from a six-week absence on Sunday when Leeds take on Warrington in a Grand Final rematch.
Last Updated: 04/04/13 1:44pm
Full-back Hardaker has been out since breaking his thumb in round three of the Super League season against Salford, but he has now had his plaster cast removed and is keen to get back in action as soon as possible.
"I've had scans on it and it's healed really well," Hardaker told RhinosTV ahead of the Headingley match. "I practised today (Wednesday) with it with the ball and it feels really good.
"It's a big relief now and I'm looking forward to cracking on with the rest of the season.
"With the No 1 shirt, I really wanted to play well this year for my club and, with the World Cup at the end of the year as well, it was a bit of a setback and a frustrating time when I got injured.
"I've got a couple of days' training to do and hopefully I'll get picked on Sunday."
Coach Brian Dermott says those two days of training will be key in him making the final decision over his 17-man matchday squad, with Kallum Watkins ready to move back to his regular role at centre if Hardaker is able to return.
McDermott said: "He's been in a pot for a while now so he's going to have to get some strength back in it. We're keen to get Zak back in the team and he's keen to get back in so we won't be making him wait too long."