Brown's Round 17 update

Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown has provided a team update approaching the side's Round 17 match against the Canberra Raiders this Sunday. 

Dane Gagai, who backed up for the Knights' match against the St George Illawarra Dragons after featuring in game two of State of Origin earlier in the week, was rested from Tuesday's training session.

"Dane was in this morning for a bit of rehab, but I've given him a few days off to freshen up. He will officially be back at training on Thursday," Brown said on Tuesday morning. 

"He has pulled up well. We will try to give him a bit of time to freshen up after Origin. 

"With his change to fullback, he covers a lot of extra distance, which he's still trying to learn to do that load.

"With the Origin, he's playing in a big environment there, so any chance we can give him to freshen up it's probably to his benefit."

Likewise, halfback Trent Hodkinson and joint-captain Jeremy Smith were also on light duties at Tuesday's session.

Meanwhile, Jarrod Mullen is nearing a return to the field after a hamstring injury he sustained at the start of the season. 

"He's probably ahead of schedule a little bit so we are hopeful we will get through the bye week and he will be available for the Melbourne game (Round 19) if everything keeps going as it is," Brown said. 

"It's a couple of weeks earlier than what we expected, but it's a bit of pleasing news. Mullo is out there working hard and is keen to get back. Someone of his experience would only help the younger halves."

Jake Mamo is back to fitness after overcoming an ankle injury and is in the mix to return this week.

"Jake is training and got through the session no worries so again, he's someone who will be up for selection as well," he said.

The Knights hit the road to take on the Canberra Raiders in the nation's capital on Sunday with Brown expecting a physically demanding game from their oppoent. 

"You need to tackle them well that's for sure," he said when asked about how to approach the Raider's forward pack.

"They have a lot of big boys and have caused a lot of teams a lot of trouble.

"The key for us, as it is every week, is our tackle technique and trying to get some consistency in it."