AFTER a season of frustration – in more ways than one – Leeds Rhinos’ Brett Delaney insists he will re-emerge stronger next time around.
As well as the reigning Super League champions having a horrendous campaign, the Australian second-row has endured large bouts of torment too.
He has been restricted to just 15 appearances in 2016 after a series of injury problems and is back on the sidelines again now after suffering a dislocated kneecap in the recent Qualifiers win at Featherstone Rovers.
Delaney will have to watch on helpless once more as Leeds continue their battle for Super League survival at London Broncos tomorrow.
But the three-time Grand Final winner refused to be too downbeat.
“The good thing is I don’t need an operation,” said the 30-year-old.
“That’s the only positive out of this injury.
“There’s no timescale on it, I’ll just see how it pulls up.
“All the bleeding’s coming out of it now and I am walking half all right.
“It’ll take another few weeks to get my strength back and we’ll go from there but I have still got plenty to offer; I’m not done yet.”
Delaney, who joined from Gold Coast Titans in 2010, is adamant he will be back to his consistent best soon despite the sickening latest blow.
“My kneecap was up at the top, so I just thought ‘yuck’,” he recalled.
“It crunched back in and I walked off.
“It didn’t really hurt until I got back into the sheds, which was a bit weird.
“It’s stopping me sleeping a bit at the minute, but I’ll be fine.
“I will be back, I’m just not sure when.”
There are always positives to take and Delaney believes the chance to build his fitness in the off-season is one.
“Since I’ve been here I haven’t had a pre-season, because of all the operations I’ve had at the end of the year,” he said.
“It will be good; I can get this year out of the way, start fresh and build a big base from pre-season and go from there.
“If I don’t get back this year I’ll be right for pre-season, I’ll get a big pre-season under my belt and start again.”