Injured thumb has left me a frustrated viewer at Headingley

THE lads have been taking the mick out of me in training this week as I have been getting a bit giddy.

I’ve been running and jumping around as if I’m about to play my first-ever game.

But it has been a long, old frustrating six weeks with this broken thumb – a bit of a pain, if I’m honest – and now I’ve got the all-clear to play against Warrington on Sunday so I’ve reason to be happy.

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I hate watching from the stands and it’s worse when you can run around, side-step, clutch the ball in one hand and do all that sort of stuff but then just not be able to hold it with both.

The pot is off now, though, and I’m ready to go again.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a tough few weeks in training. I’ve been worked really hard and had my legs blown off at times. The Leeds conditioners have really kept me up to pace so I can come straight back in tomorrow if selected.

One of them – Rich Hundwick – hasn’t been happy this week though after his computer and all our GPS tracking devices were stolen. He loves that laptop but, not only that, his car got nicked too so he’s gutted.

It doesn’t mean we’ve been able to rest up in training. It has been a bit more hands-off this week but that’s more because of the Easter period and the lads’ flight to Catalan and back in the same day on Monday.

They really need to let their bodies recover ready for a huge game against the Wolves and one of the best ways Brian McDermott, Jimmy Lowes and all our conditioning staff think to do that is to give us plenty of rest.

We know what Warrington can do. We don’t really need to go out and train every day to get ready for them or come up with new tactics. We just need to be at our very best.

Although I am one of those who does like just going out and playing, I do like it when Rich comes back to me and takes me through all the data that the GPS records.

It shows how your heart works at different stages of different matches, how many footsteps you’ve taken at various points and it’s all very technical.

Over the last couple of years it shows that if we do certain things right, and our hearts work consistently right throughout the players, then we can reach certain levels as a team across the board and generally we get the right result on the pitch.

When we lost at Castleford earlier this season we knew we hadn’t played well and all the science backed that up. It is a good indicator of where we are and what our bodies are doing.

Obviously Kallum (Watkins) has been playing full-back in my absence and he’s done a great job. There’s so many versatile players at Leeds and that helps when people like Kallum – last year – and now me and Ben Jones-Bishop get injured.

I was really looking forward to this season after being given the number one jersey and was after a big impact given it’s the World Cup at the end of the year.

But at Leeds, too, we wanted to do the treble. Melbourne Storm unfortunately ended that in a game I missed due to this injury.

I was at Headingley on Friday to help launch the Leeds Rugby Foundation Run With The Rhinos ahead of the Leeds 10k. I’m honoured to get asked to be the face of the campaign and it’s a great chance to raise some money for the charity. We had about 100 people take part last year and are hoping to at least double that, but you don’t have to run it. You can just walk it and have a great day out with the family so get involved.

Interview by Dave Craven