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Page last updated at 18:10 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Leeds Rhinos winger Scott Donald out for three months

Scott Donald
Leeds winger Scott Donald first arrived at Headingley from Australia in 2005

Leeds Rhinos star Scott Donald is set to be out for 12 weeks after undergoing surgery for a shoulder reconstruction.

Aussie winger Donald dislocated his shoulder in last Friday's 22-10 win over Salford City Reds.

And, after seeing specialists, he is now due to undergo arthroscopic surgery at the beginning of next week.

Meanwhile, fellow Aussie Brett Delaney will leave the final decision about whether he plays in Sunday's World Club Challenge to the club's medical staff.

The 24-year-old centre, Leeds' close season signing on a three-year contract from Gold Coast Titans, has made just two appearances for the Super League champions.

And he rates his chances of making his comeback in the Elland Road showdown with Melbourne Storm as 50/50.

Delaney, who was a straight replacement for England centre Lee Smith, said: "It's the game I was looking forward to but I picked up that injury a few weeks ago and I'm a bit disappointed. My chances are about 50/50 at the moment.

"It's a bit touch and go. Obviously, it's a long season and I have to look after my knee. I don't want to be in one week and out the next.

"I'll leave it up to the medical staff to make a judgement on Friday."

We've been starting games a bit slow. And we can't do that on Sunday because Melbourne will come out of the blocks on fire and we've got to match it

Leeds centre Brett Delaney

Rhinos coach Brian McClennan, who has named Delaney in his initial 19-man squad, is hoping he recovers in time so that Kallum Watkins, who has deputised at centre in the last two matches, can switch to the wing in place of Donald.

Delaney, who was with the Titans since their inception in 2003, knows just how difficult beating Melbourne can be, but insists his new club are more than capable of regaining the trophy.

"They're a well-structured side who have world-class players," he said. "They have played together for a few years now so they're a pretty well-coached side and we've just got to shut down their good players.

"They're a great side because they've been in four Grand Finals back home in Australia. But the Leeds boys have won the last three and we're a great side so it'll be a good game and, if I'm in the 19, I just can't wait to get out there."

If Leeds are to repeat their 2008 triumph over Storm, Delaney says the Super League champions need to avoid the slow start that has characterised some of this season's games.

"We've been starting games a bit slow," he said. "And we can't do that on Sunday because Melbourne will come out of the blocks on fire and we've got to match it."



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