Newcastle have announced that halfback Mitchell Pearce will make his return next weekend when the Knights take on the Eels on Friday night at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Pearce has not played since round 7 after he tore his pectoral against the West Tigers. He's now fully recovered and undertaking unrestricted training. The 29-year old has been active in fully contact training for over three weeks.

Oddly, Pearce will have the final call on whether he returns against Parramatta, according to the Physical Performance Manager, Tony Ayoub.

"He's had his first full session today, there was no restriction, he got through the session and he was pretty confident," Ayoub told

"He's doing everything in the gym that we ask of him and some.

"You've got to try and pull him back (at times), he's just so positive and so professional in his approach.

"He's got another couple of sessions this week and then a full week next week.

"The way it's looking, there's definitely going to be positive news.

"He's definitely going to play Round 19 and if we can get him up for Round 18.

"The ultimate decision will be with him. It's how comfortable he feels.

"From our perspective, we're all hopeful he will play that Round 18."