Injury update: ‘I’d be lying if I didn’t say he was doubtful’

Kalyn Ponga is racing the clock for Sunday's Round 24 clash with Cronulla.

The nib Newcastle Knights young gun has been named at five-eighth to face the Sharks this week but in doubt with an ongoing ankle complaint.

It's an injury the Club has been managing for several weeks after Ponga rolled his ankle at training.

While he played 80 minutes in last week's impressive win over Penrith, his ankle hasn't recovered the way the coaching staff had hoped which kept him out of training on Thursday.

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According to coach Nathan Brown, his ability to train on Saturday at the team's final session will determine whether he suits up this weekend.

"He's in a boot at the moment," Brown said.

"Obviously we'll give him every bit that's possible until Saturday. I'd be lying if I didn't say he was doubtful but we'll see where that ends.

"It was going to come to a stage sooner or later where he couldn't keep going.

"I'm not sure what level of fitness he's been at but he hasn't been 100 percent. Where it ends up? We're not sure yet. We'll just wait til Saturday."


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While Ponga is under a cloud, Connor Watson is poised to return.

Brown confirmed the versatile playmaker is ready to come back from a groin injury which has troubled him for several weeks.

"Connor will play regardless of what happens with Kalyn," Brown said.

"How it all unfolds? We'll just have to wait and see.


"Connor is an important part of our team and club and obviously a lot has been talked about the combinations and who may play where but we don't really have to worry about it at this stage because we have to wait and see if Kalyn's going to be fit."

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Should Ponga be ruled out, Brown has options.

Watson could also return to the halves or should he play, Nick Meaney has been named in the No.1 but Watson could shift to that role should Brown decide to use him that way.

"Connor played there for the Roosters last year," Brown said of Watson at fullback.


"He only played a handful of games for the Roosters and he got man of the match in a few games. It's a position he plays very well.

"Kalyn has probably got a bit of a different style from Connor so his role from fullback to five-eighth it doesn't change greatly but they are a little different."

Injured players and expected return dates:

Tautau Moga (ACL, Season)

Slade Griffin (Knee, Season)

Jacob Saifiti (Shoulder, Indefinite)

Nathan Ross (Groin, Indefinite)

Kalyn Ponga (Ankle, TBC)