Mitch Barnett is hopeful of making a comeback from injury in just a couple of weeks.
The backrower has been sidelined since Round 2 where he suffered a neck injury against the Wests Tigers but is nearing a return.
“I got it operated on 12-13 weeks ago,” Barnett told Triple M Newcastle on Saturday.
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“I had a fusion in my C5 and 6. It’s going really well.
“I was hoping to be back a few weeks ago. It’s all bone healing at the moment. I can’t really put a time on it. It’s a bit slower than we would’ve wanted it. I get another scan on Monday week. As soon as I get the all-clear, I’ll be right to come back.”
It’s an injury the Club is being careful with and not willing to rush.
While frustrating, Barnett acknowledges that the recovery can’t be rushed.
“They’re making sure its 100 percent healed before they let me do anything which I’m grateful for,” he said.
“The sooner, the better though.”
Since sidelined, the game has seen a host of changes introduced including the six again rule for ruck infringements.
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It’s a rule Barnett has enjoyed watching and is keen to experience himself.
“It’s sped the game up, which I like,” he said.
“The teams that handle it better are probably the teams that have done the hard work with fitness, I guess.
“…I like the rule and we’re handling it well… it’s made the game a lot faster and free-flowing.”