Injured star forced out of Knights squad
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Newcastle hooker Jayden Brailey has been dealt a cruel blow on the eve of a return to NRL training after being forced out of the Knights' 32-man playing squad.
The 24-year-old suffered an ACL injury in his second game for the Knights in round two and underwent a surgical repair in March, which left him facing up to nine months on the sidelines.
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It was hoped the NRL's return to training would allow Brailey to resume daily physiotherapy sessions and reduce his recovery time.
However, Knights general manager of football Danny Buderus has revealed tight restrictions around the number of players and staff allowed into the club's training base has forced Brailey out.
"You have to put 50 in your compound, that's 32 players and 18 staff and because he's outside of the 12-week return to play, Jayden's season's over which is a huge shame," he told Fox Sports.
"Those two games he played you could see the difference he had for the team so that's going to be a hole to fill."
Back-rower Mitch Barnett was also expected to spend three months on the sidelines after picking up a nerve injury in his neck in round two and undergoing surgery.
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However, as he is closer to a return to play, the Knights were able to include him in the squad.
"(Jayden's) got his rehabilitation program in place along with Mitch Barnett," Buderus said.
"We'll get Mitch back pretty soon, it's a shame for Jayden and I know how much he loves being here at Newcastle and he's going to be a Knight for a long time to come."
The Knights could now consider looking to the market to replace Brailey in the No.9 jersey after the NRL cleared clubs to negotiate and register contracts.
However, Kurt Mann and Connor Watson have both spend time at hooker and are expected to be considered for the job by coach Adam O'Brien.
Originally published as Injured star forced out of Knights squad due to coronavirus restrictions