Round 18 Injury Update: Ponga progress, Griffin surgery

Kalyn Ponga is a slight chance of making an early return from injury.

The nib Newcastle Knights fullback injured his hamstring against the Bulldogs in Round 16 but started running over the weekend.

Physical Performance Manager, Tony Ayoub has revealed Ponga is progressing nicely and a possibility to make his comeback in just over a week.

"He's working really hard with the physios," Ayoub told newcastleknights.com.au.

"He's done some strength stuff in the gym. He's ticking the right boxes and had a couple of runs already.

WATCH OUR INJURY UPDATE IN THE VIDEO BELOW:


"It's all looking well for definitely Round 20 (against the Cowboys).

"It's a matter of how much work we can get into him over the next few days and the next week and we'll make a decision on the Titans (game next week) but certainly we're looking at Round 20."

Mitchell Pearce returns this weekend to take on Parramatta, while Daniel Saifiti has been pencilled in to also make his return.

THE LOCKYER THAT SLATER SEES IN PONGA

Saifiti has been sidelined since injuring his foot against the Eels but is ahead of schedule.

"We've loaded him up a fair bit in the last week or so," Ayoub explained.

"He's really confident in probably having a run this week."


Meanwhile, Slade Griffin will have surgery to repair his knee this week.

The hooker will have two operations on his knee to repair

"It seems to have consumed a bit of our time and rightly so with the degree of damage that he's had," Ayoub said.

"We've made a decision, he's going to go to Melbourne and get a two-stage operation.

"He'll be operated on first thing (Tuesday morning). They'll repair his knee for the next lot of surgery in about three months' time."


IF YOU'RE READING ON THE APP AND WANT TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST - CLICK HERE!

Injured players and expected return dates:

Tautau Moga (ACL, Season)

Slade Griffin (Knee, Season)

Jacob Saifiti (Shoulder, Round 24)

Kalyn Ponga (Hamstring, Round 19-20)

Daniel Saifiti (Foot, Round 18-19)