Despite previous suggestions that embattled playmaker Anthony Milford would be thrown a single-season lifeline to ply his with Newcastle in 2022, the 27-year-old could yet be kept on the sidelines for the entirety of the Knights' upcoming schedule.
While it has been previously reported that the ex-Bronco would link up with Adam O'Brien's side after his deal with South Sydney was scuppered by the NRL late last year, Danny Weidler of The Sydney Morning Herald has claimed recent history looks set to be repeated.
Within a report published on Sunday morning, Weidler claimed that the NRL was yet to be contacted by the club from the Hunter region in regards to a contract for the Queenslander.
Weidler also stressed that suggestions Milford would be pulling on red and blue armour as early as April were unlikely to become a reality.
Although the Brisbane-born stand-off is set to plead not guilty to the three counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one count of wilful damage involving a vehicle, the mere fact that each charge is still to be resolved leaves a return to the playing field at an ambiguous point.
On Monday, reports surfaced that a pair of these assault charges were in line to be dropped despite Milford's hearing pushed back until March 20.
Given Milford has maintained his innocence on all major charges, there remained a view that the former Origin representative would make his Knights debut as soon as Round 5 of this season.
Still, with much to play out away from McDonald Jones Stadium, it appears likely that Milford will spend the vast majority of the next few months clad in a suit and tie rather than studded boots.
News Corp claimed on Monday that Milford was poised to pen a one-year deal to play alongside Kalyn Ponga, with the contract worth in the vicinity of $150,000.
It is not yet known whether these latest revelations will have any impact on the playmaker's plans to become a Dolphin in 2023 under the watch of former mentor, Wayne Bennett.