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It hasn't been smooth sailing for the Penrith Panthers as the side are in the middle of an injury crisis that includes more than eight of their regular first grade players unavailable to take the field in Newcastle.

We infiltrated the Panthers camp to see what's been going on and what has been said ahead of Indigenous Round.

The Panthers will be sweating on injured prop Trent Merrin, who is a good chance to return following a finger injury, but the team is set to still be without key players Nathan Cleary, Josh Mansour and Dylan Edwards.

Viliame Kikau has been named in the number 11 jersey after an X-ray came back all clear on his hand, which will be heavily strapped against the Knights.

Kikau has plenty of confidence ahead of the clash in Newcastle, highlighting the Panthers will look to target the red and blue's defence out wide.

With a new pairing in Brock Lamb and Connor Watson set to steer the ship in the halves this week, Kikau told he'll be aiming to exploit their inexperience.

"They're not probably a first-choice halves combination and have been in and out of the side," he said.

"I'll make sure to do a job there and help James Maloney on the edge... I've got to get into their halves and make them work."

Isaah Yeo is set to take up his position in the centres and by self-admission he may be a little rusty, which could potentially be a spot where the Knights set their focus.

"I haven't played in the centres for a couple of years now which doesn't help," Yeo told

"Me and Jimmy have worked a lot together this week making sure we're on the same page together.

"I'm sure we'll cop a bit of traffic this week testing out our combination, but I've got confidence we can fix that and be fine."

Penrith's Jarome Luai is set to make his NRL debut after being named on the bench while the return of utility Tyrone May may add some versatility to the heavily depleted squad.

But despite all the bad news coming out of the Penrith camp, the Knights will need to be wary of a side that still hold down third position on the ladder.