Kalyn Ponga is poised to make his return from a calf injury.
The nib Newcastle Knights fullback has missed the previous two games due to the strain but Head of Physical Performance, Balin Cupples, said Ponga is available to face the Sydney Roosters at the SCG on Saturday.
“KP’s come through a pretty comprehensive rehab protocol,” Cupples said.
“With soft tissue, especially calf muscles, you’ve got to be really careful with. It’s been a slow build for him since Origin II. In saying that, he’s got through all our protocols. If he gets through training, we should see him line up against the Roosters this weekend.”
Meanwhile, Slade Griffin’s return to the field is within sight.
The hooker has been sidelined with an ACL injury but eyeing a comeback around the Round 22 mark of the season.
As part of his rehabilitation, Griffin has been the blue shirt trainer for the first-grade side for several weeks.
“It’s positive on a mental side to get him around the NRL team,” Cupples explained.
“More and more over the last two weeks, building into this next month of his final return phase, he’s in more and more NRL sessions.
“… we should see him in that early Round 21, Round 22, Round 23 range returning to football.
“He’ll definitely play football this season. It’s a testament to the medical department and the amount of work Slade’s put in.”
Finally, Knights supporters would’ve noticed young backrower Beau Fermor has been absent from the Canterbury Cup team sheet for some time.
This is due to a kidney injury he picked up which threatened to end his season.
“He copped a bit of a contusion injury in the kidneys,” Cupples said.
“After staying in hospital for a night and a couple of checks, he’s developed a blood clot in his kidneys. Original diagnosis was an extended layoff.
“In saying that, in the last week he’s gone back to the specialist and got some positive news.
“Now he’s on a three-week return to play period. It looked like originally he’d be out for the season, so really positive news for Beau.”
Injured players and expected return dates:
Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Elbow – Round 21-22)
Kalyn Ponga (Calf - Round 18)
Edrick Lee (Arm - Round 25-Finals)
Slade Griffin (ACL - Round 22)
Starford To’a (Ankle – Round 21-24)
Beau Fermor (Kidney - Round 21)