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The light at the end of the tunnel is satisfyingly close for Newcastle Knight Jarrod Mullen who is set to make a return to the field against the Melbourne Storm this Sunday after recovering from a hamstring injury. 

Mullen underwent surgery on a hamstring tear he sustained in the Knights’ Round 8 match against the Manly Sea Eagles and is now poised for a return, three weeks ahead of schedule after an intensive rehabilitation program.

“I’m very happy. I got the clearance on Friday to go out there and fully train,” he said following the team’s training session on Monday.

“It will be great to come back this weekend against the Melbourne Storm who are in form."

The Knights’ veteran five-eighth opened up about his road to recovery over the last few months, which have tested him both physically and mentally.

“There’s a lot of training by yourself and hard work that goes into it,” he said.

“You don’t just sit on the sidelines and miraculously get better. 

“It’s a lot of hard work and you have to thank the physios and everyone here at the Knights to get you back because they put in the hard yards with you.

“It’s a lot of physio and hamstring strengthening sort of stuff. 

“In the early days after the operation, you don’t do too much. There’s a lot of sitting at home and contemplating whether you want to play footy anymore and that sort of stuff, but it is a great job and it’s good getting back around the boys and training out there.”

Understandably, he warmly welcomed the positive news on Friday that he was in fact ahead of his recovery schedule and fully fit to join the mix for the Round 19 match. 

“I got a scan on it the other day to make sure it was fully repaired and the scan came back really good,” he said.

It does more for a mental thing, so in the game where you see a gap, or think you want to go but not sure how the hamstring is going to go. 

“It’s fully healed and the best it could have been.” 

Mullen hit the training paddock for the first time with the team on Monday morning and was buoyed by his progress.

“I was out there today and have done a fair bit of running and a fair bit of contact and that’s the first bit of work I have done and it pulled up alright,” he said. 

“I was fatigued in the end, but I suppose it was always going to be like that.

“I just have to get through the week but I’m looking forward to Sunday.”

Kids go free this Sunday when the Newcastle Knights take on the Melbourne Storm at Hunter Stadium. Purchase your ticket here