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Sternum injury won’t stop Barnett

Mitch Barnett has assured the nib Newcastle Knights faithful he is right to go play on Friday night.

Despite picking up a painful sternum injury against the Warriors last weekend, the workhorse has cast aside any fears he is not right to take on Cronulla.

In a season where the injury toll has ballooned out, Barnett revealed he will wear a guard on Friday night in order to take his place in the side.

"It was a bit of a knock. Everyone knows if you've had a sternum injury, they are pretty painful. It's alright though now and I'll be right to go this weekend," Barnett said.

“It is one of those spots. I got a needle and it helped for a bit.

"I'll probably put a guard on, another needle and I’ll be right to go."

Barnett: Injury management, Sharks threat, honest review

With Daniel Saifiti and Sione Mata’utia still sidelined with injury and Pasami Saulo through suspension, coach Adam O’Brien has only made two changes to the team which went down 36-6 last Saturday. 

Brodie Jones comes onto the bench for Saulo, while Phoenix Crossland replaces Chris Randall but the Sharks aren’t without changes.

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Braydon Trindall has retained his place in the Sharks starting side, with Connor Tracey going back to the interchange bench to make way for the inclusion of Chad Townsend.

While Kiwi international Shaun Johnson has been ruled out of the game due to a hamstring issue, Andrew Fifita remains a chance of playing after being named in jersey No.21.

Barnett, 26, knows the Sharks pose threats across the board and his team can ill-afford a repeat of last week’s performance.

"They're a good footy side, they score a lot of points and they have been defending really good too of late," he said.

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"They have a lot of go-forward with Woodsy [Aaron Woods] up front and I think [Andrew] Fifita's back now too.

"They are a real experienced side and we are going to have to show up physically and mentally this week."