Injury update: Playmaker’s damaged finger, Watson progress

Connor Watson looks likely to return to the field on Sunday ahead of the nib Newcastle Knights' Round 24 clash with Cronulla.

The five-eighth has been sidelined with a groin complaint for some weeks but according to Physical Performance Manager, Tony Ayoub, Watson is all but back to peak fitness.

"He's been training really well and strength is up," Ayoub said of the versatile playmaker.

"He's been working really hard in the rehab area and he's doing really well.

KNIGHTS 20S CLAIM MINOR PREMIERSHIP IN THRILLING FASHION


KNIGHTS END DROUGHT IN PENRITH

"We expect him to do a full training session (on Tuesday) and then we'll reassess it and hopefully he'll be able to take his place this week."

Playmaker Jack Cogger injured his hand earlier in the season but has been playing through the pain.

With just two NRL games remaining and the Knights' ISP NSW season over, Cogger is in need of an operation and could be booked in for surgery as soon as the end of the week.

"He tore a tendon off his little finger quite a few weeks ago (and) didn't tell anyone," Ayoub said of Cogger.


RECRUITS WRAP-UP: 'ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CONTENDER' INJURED

KNIGHTS NUMBERS: DIGGING DEEP WITH MAMMOTH DEFENCE

"Tried to battle through it for a while (and) we missed that window of opportunity to try and get it done acutely and unfortunately for him, he missed it. He's been battling on.

"We're going to see what Nathan (Brown) wants to do with regards to the halves in the next week or two and if we get the opportunity to clean it up in the next week or two, we'll do that.

"He's a tough kid. He's battled hard through it."


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

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by clicking here!

Like Watson, veteran forward Jacob Lillyman has been missing for a couple of weeks due to injury.

Lillyman has been battling with an abdominal issue but appears to have overcome the complaint which has put him in the frame for selection this weekend.

"That old carcass of his is certainly coming along," Ayoub said.

"He's going well. He's a champion fella and you want him to finish on a really good note. It's been a tremendous career.

"He's been working really hard with the fellas in rehab.


"I expect him to train fully. If he gets through that, I don't see any issues. Hopefully he'll be available for the last two weeks."

Injured players and expected return dates:

Tautau Moga (ACL, Season)

Slade Griffin (Knee, Season)

Jacob Saifiti (Shoulder, Indefinite)

Nathan Ross (Groin, Indefinite)

Connor Watson (Groin, Round 24)

Jacob Lillyman (Abdominal, Round 24)

Jack Cogger (Hand, round 24)