Pre-season has entered a new phase for the nib Newcastle Knights.
The Perth Nines are just 23 days away, with the trials hot on the heels of the pre-season competition.
With that, pre-season has begun to turn for home.
Speaking from a mid-week beach recovery session, Head of Physical Performance Balin Cupples explained the squad’s transition into the final phase of pre-season training.
Recovery Report: Lino firms for trials
“The background (of the beach) sort of contrasts where the boys are at training-wise,” Cupples said.
“Three weeks in, we’re really ramping up the intensity for the players, and adding to that we’ve got to prioritise recovery.
“We’re having some extra recovery and ‘time-to-take-a-breath’ days this week.”
With an extra emphasis on recovery following a gruelling three-week phase post-Christmas, Cupples was able to reflect on the players recovering from long term injuries over the pre-season.
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While Starford To’a is transitioning back to full-training this week, five-eighth Mason Lino is still racing the clock to be fit for the trials.
“Mason’s going well, he’s integrating back into more and more,” Cupples said.
“At the backend of this week he’ll be in some un-opposed football skills and is starting to play some of our con-games.
“He’s come really strongly through his contact protocols, so towards next week Mason will be involved in a majority of teamwork, which should set him up well for that trial period.”
One man who won’t be featuring in the trials is young back-rower Beau Fermor, however the 21-year-old’s recovery is going as scheduled.
“Beauy continues to hit key milestones across his ACL rehab,” Cupples said.
“We’ve got some external expertise looking at Beauy in this next four weeks.
“We’re continuing to push his speed, continuing to push his change of direction while still doing plenty of skills and some of that defensive technique work with the coaches.”
'I'm looking forward to being on their side, not against them'
Injured players and expected return dates:
Mason Lino (Shoulder - Pre-Season)
Beau Fermor (Knee - Early-Mid season)