AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 10: Kalyn Ponga of the Knights reacts during the round 22 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart Stadium on August 10, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

The Newcastle Knights are weighing up their options in resting youngster Kalyn Ponga for their Round 23 clash against the Penrith Panthers.

Ponga has been carrying a niggly ankle injury for the last few weeks, with the club suggesting he could be rested in order to fully heal the injury.

The 20-year old completed training on Monday, with Knights physical performance manager Tony Ayoub telling newcastleknights.com.au he is recovering better than first thought.

“He’s pulled up pretty good this week,” Ayoub, said.

“He injured it two-three weeks ago and it was pretty nasty there for those few days.

“He got up for that North Queensland game and played tough.

“He’s got better each week, there’s no doubt about. We expected after a couple of flights over the last couple of weeks, it probably wasn’t going to be great.

“From my perspective, I think we’re in a good spot with Kalyn. I don’t think it’s as bad as we thought it was going to be this week. I would like, hopefully we’ll get him up for the game.”

Newcastle is expected to receive a boost in their forward stocks as Jacob Lillyman is set to make his return from injury.

The veteran, who is retiring at seasons end, missed last week’s game due to an abdominal/groin issue, but is making a case to be picked for Round 23.

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Ayoub said Lillyman made a positive step towards a comeback on Monday at training.

“He’s in a really good spot at the moment. He jumped in and did some skills which I didn’t expect for him to do,” Ayoub said.

“If he pulls up well, we’ll throw him in on Wednesday.

“Next week we definitely think he’ll be right but if we got him back this week it would be a bonus.”

Meanwhile, Connor Watson has missed the last few weeks with a groin injury and is likely to sit out Round 23 as it would be a risk to bring him back too early.

1 COMMENT

  1. They are not going to make the finals, so give him the rest of the season off! He is young, light, and will have a bigger burden on him next year. No point letting opposition team see more of his tricks for next years video sessions – the combinations won’t suffer as a result…

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