Former Brisbane Bronco Anthony Milford is being hunted for an NRL return before the end of the 2022 season, however, whether he will be able to hinges on an integrity unit investigation.

Milford had his remaining legal issues cleared earlier this week, with his three remaining charges of assault dropped.

However, Milford pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of public nuisance and wilful damage according to reports earlier this week, being placed on a two-year, $1000 good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded by the court.

It means the NRL aren't willing to let him return yet, with the integrity unit to conduct their own investigation into the issue to determine if Milford should be allowed to return immediately.

Despite the setback, it's understood Milford has remained fit and ready to play - with his manager Sam Ayoub telling The Daily Telegraph that there is no reason his contract shouldn't be registered, while also confirming the Knights are interested.

News Corp's Brent Read told Triple M Radio on Tuesday that the Knights have already contacted the integrity unit to determine the next steps, while it's understood the Dolphins have all but secured Milford's contract for 2023.

“Newcastle, I believe, were going to contact the Integrity Unit to find out what the next step is in terms of getting him up to Newcastle and getting him in the system,” he said.

“But I suspect they will have to wait because the NRL will take their time on this.

“He will be at Newcastle. They basically have a deal done with him and then next year he will be at the Dolphins, that deal is just about done as well.

“His future is pretty much set in stone. It’s just a matter of when he can get back playing football, that’s his issue at the moment.”

The Knights are undoubtedly a club in need of halves for the remainder of the 2022 season, with Jake Clifford and Adam Clune's excellent start to the season fast disappearing in the rearview mirror on the back of three straight losses to the Penrith Panthers, Cronulla Sharks and Manly Sea Eagles.

The Dolphins, on the other hand, are yet to sign a recognised spine player with NRL experience for their inaugural season in 2023, and have recently missed out on Harry Grant and Jahrome Hughes while Kalyn Ponga seems destined to extend his time with the Knights.