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In the News: Barnett return imminent, Goal-kicking debate

There’s been no shortage of interest in our boys this week.

The nib Newcastle Knights attracted plenty of media attention and we’ve pulled together some of it in case you missed it.

Why Tex could be the man to replace Ponga

Mitch Barnett ahead of schedule

With the season re-start just three weeks away, Mitch Barnett is working as hard as possible to be back on the field as soon as possible.

Barnett was expected to be out for around three months after undergoing major neck surgery in March.

However, the two-time Danny Buderus Medal winner is ahead of schedule in his recovery process, and while a return-to-play is not yet set in stone, Barnett's hard work looks set to pay off.

At least that's according to Buderus himself, who confirmed the news to Fox Sports News this week.

“Mitch Barnett's got his rehabilitation program in place,” Buderus said.

“We’ll get Mitch back pretty soon."

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Goal-kicking conundrum ahead of May 28

While some things age, unfortunately the suspension Kalyn Ponga picked up in round two does not.

Ponga will sit out the Knights first game back in late May, and his absence presents an interesting problem for Adam O'Brien.

With fellow goal-kicker Mason Lino yet to play a game this season and Kurt Mann holding down the halves spot he would otherwise occupy, the Knights kicking options look a little on the light side.

Mitch Barnett is currently the third string kicker, however he is racing the clock to be fit for the early rounds of the re-started competition.

It's not the only headache for O'Brien, who told Newcastle Herald scribe Robert Dillon he's yet to settle on a 17 for round three.

"I'd say the team for our next game is written in pencil, but it's not written in pen," O'Brien said.

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