Set to go... Canberra Raiders player Tom Learoyd-Lahrs during training on August 2. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Senior forward Tom Learoyd-Lahrs is confident he’ll be fit for a return to the NRL this weekend, but doesn’t expect Canberra’s humiliating loss to the Melbourne Storm to fast-track his recall.
Learoyd-Lahrs was not named in Canberra’s extended squad to prepare for the Roosters on Saturday, but he returned to full training with Canberra’s NRL squad on Wednesday after missing 11 matches because of a torn ligament in his foot.
Learoyd-Lahrs’ last NRL match was an upset victory against the Storm in round eight, and he rejoins a Raiders squad coming off a record 64-point loss to Melbourne, Canberra’s biggest defeat in its 32-season history.
Learoyd-Lahrs said he would welcome the opportunity to make his comeback against the NRL leading Roosters if he was a late call-up, but he did not expected the Raiders to make panicked changes to their pack due to a record defeat against the Storm.
‘‘They can bounce back this weekend and win up there, I don’t think it opens the door for me at all,’’ Learoyd-Lahrs said.
‘‘If it does happen to open a door for me, so be it, I’m prepared to do what I’ve got to do to get back into the side.
‘‘But we’ve been playing good football over the last month, you don’t drop the bundle completely after one week. It’s still the same side that beat St George and Melbourne on the road, we know we can play footy. It definitely makes you hungry and a few of the boys are probably a little bit embarrassed.’’
Learoyd -Lahrs said he felt physically prepared for his NRL return, using the time off to also strengthen his core, that had been contributing to hamstring issues.
The Raiders beat the Roosters in round five, but the Roosters have since taken the lead in the NRL competition and established themselves at the benchmark.
Learoyd-Lahrs denied the Raiders, now seventh on the ladder, were no longer a finals threat.
‘‘We’re far from done, we’re still in the top eight,’’ Learoyd-Lahrs said.
‘‘At the moment the Roosters are the benchmark of the competition, there’s no better way to bounce back from a humiliating loss like that by beating a side like the Roosters.’’